All Welcome Here wishes to query BIPOC residents on life in Prince Edward County

All Welcome Here helped organize a peaceful protest in the spring of 2020. Now the group wants to hear from all BIPOC residents living in Prince Edward County. (Desirée DeCoste/Gazette Staff)

A local non-profit organization focusing on anti-racism in a consciously intersectional way is launching a survey for people of colour in Prince Edward County.

The 2016 census indicates  about 5 per cent or 1,250 of the County’s population is Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and the group All Welcome Here wants to know what works and what doesn’t for this segment of the populace.

Founder of AWH Judith Burfoot points out that Prince Edward County BIPOC are an incredibly ethnically diverse collective with some born in the County or Canada and while some are new Canadians and immigrants. Some speak only English and others also speak Cantonese, Tagalog, Spanish, Gujarati, Korean, Arabic, Swahili and more. Ancestry includes Mohawk, Jamaican, Filipino, Canadian, Indian, Japanese, and many  have multiple ethnicities.

“All Welcome Here (AWH) wants to learn more about who we are so that we can support our County BIPOC neighbours and help us all to be successful and connected in living here,” said Judith Burfoot, Founder of AWH. “If we know what’s working well, we can help build on that. If we know where the problems are, we can help to fix them.”

For example, It’s acknowledged  housing, under-/unemployment, and youth-specific challenges are issues in the County but its now known what kind of impacts those issues are having on BIPOC residents. 

Additionally, AWH hears anecdotal stories of racist experiences here but have no way to capture its frequency.

“We also know that being BIPOC in PEC can be isolating and we hope this is another step in building community,” added Burfoot. 

Connecting BIPOC residents with each other and with the PEC community at arge is one of AWH’s main priorities. In addition to its main channels, AWH runs BIPOC of PEC, a closed Facebook group just for BIPOC residents. 

“We also want to do more social events like our book club and some meetups at local restaurants, but we’ve been limited by Covid. We’re really optimistic that we can hold the POCnic next spring,” said Burfoot. 

Designed to showcase BIPOC businesses, producers and artists, this event will be open to everyone.

The survey is divided into four sections:

• Demographics

• Racial info about individuals/households

• Life in Prince Edward County

• What support may be needed

All of the questions are voluntary and the survey takes approximately 5 – 10 minutes to complete online. AWH will not share personal information or any identifying information. No contact information is required though the group aspires to build its network. A future edition of the survey will focus on visitors and is planned for 2022.

You can find the survey at www.allwelcomehere.ca/survey and can contact the organization with any

questions at info@allwelcomehere.ca.