EDMONTON -- A community march this Saturday aims to highlight concerns about racism and discrimination in Edmonton and Canada.

The Building Bridges Against Hate walk is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will have members from eight different communities, including Black, Indigenous, Muslim, Asian and LGBTQ2+ representation.

The rally will begin outside of the Wong’s Benevolent Association in Chinatown at 10242 96 Street and will proceed toward Churchill Square.

A short program is planned to take place at Churchill Square where community members with lived experiences with hate, racism, and discrimination will share testimonials.

Wati Rahmat, one of the rally's organizers, said its main purpose is to highlight the joint effort by so many communities to raise awareness of growing number of hate crimes and racist incidents.

“There’s been a lot of incidences of hate with the Asian community because of COVID and anti-Islam and Islamophobic attacks against Black Muslim women,” Rahmat said. 

Rahmat shared how an Asian friend of hers is scared to go to the grocery store lately following the recent attacks in Atlanta, or because people have been expressing anger about COVID-19 to those of Asian descent.

“A lot of people are worried about what is happening and we have a lot of allies and people in the community who want to come together to show solidarity and come together in healing.

“Hate has devastating consequences. We need to speak and things need to be done.”

Rahmat also helped create Sisters’ Dialogue, a community organization aiming to bring awareness to Islamophobia in Edmonton following incidents on transit where women wearing hijabs were threatened.

“That is why this Saturday we are coming and rallying – different organizations, different groups, culture groups, and faith groups – to say not to hate.”

“We can come together to tell people out there that hate is not acceptable.”