By Ken Herar

The Cycling4Diversity team is ready to put the pedal to the medal and deliver the message of diversity and inclusivity from May 22nd–  28th  during Cycling4Diversity Week in BC.  The focus this year will on rural communities visiting Hope, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs during the first portion of our journey.  I am excited to lead the team through this corridor and during our planning the communities have welcomed us with open arms.  Sometimes smaller communities get missed in the equation and the message of diversity needs to be planted. I was at a crossroads this year if I wanted to plan the ride having visited over 100 schools in the past five year, but the encouragement of the community and  Executive Director Anne Marie Sjoden, we are more passionate than ever to do this again.  Reflecting, on what most impresses me the most on this initiative, having only planning on doing this once back in 2011, has been the support of the community. Where ever we have knocked to get support to assist us organizations and members from the community have stepped up and made our work much easier. This is more of the reflection that should be displayed is that we live in a great community that believes in respect and continuing to make it better.  The team is tremendously honoured to deliver this message and excited about finishing in Abbotsford at Robert Bateman Secondary on May 27th.

We are always looking for new members  and if you want to part of our C4D team this year do send us a message. Sjoden said, “This is my 3rd year with the organization and I always enjoy meeting new people and being able to share my message about diversity. I would like to put an invite out to the public that we are always looking for new team members. The best way to reach us is by sending us an email or you can send us a message on our Facebook Like page.”

The Abbotsford News and Cycling4Diversity finished our Short Message Contest and we have some wonderful messages. The question was: How has diversity impacted you life?  First of all, we would like to thank store manager Dawn Haig from Save on Foods of Abbotsford for the gift cards, Cineplex for the movie tickets and Cycling4Diversity for the shirts.  Haig shared her experience in relation to the question: “Diversity has affected my life in many ways. Working for a company that promotes diversity has provided me with many opportunities of growth in my career. In my position I have been fortunate to work with many diverse communities. Promoting diversity gives me the tools to provide great customer service in all the communities we serve. It is a joy to be supporting our local diverse communities. ”

The winners for the short message contest were: Reena Sekhon, Jessica Rebagliati and  Susan Merry Baker.

Sekhon said: “My kids are Indo Canadian French immersion students. Diversity of learning another language has taught them and us to celebrate we are all Canadian regardless of the colour of our skin or the language we speak.”

Rebagliati said: “About a year ago, I started a new job with an program that is dedicated to helping newcomers to Canada. In this position, I have met people from all over the world. It’s amazing to learn about different cultures and meet people with such interesting backgrounds. I love the diversity in my job and I think it’s really opened my eyes to the rest of the world. I’ve also met some really great people along the way.”

Baker said:” I’m so thankful that my parents married in 1949 Aboriginal/English taught diversity by their own example.”

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