#ITSTARTS month kicks off on March 1 as the County of Simcoe promotes multiculturalism and inclusiveness during its third annual social media awareness campaign.
#ITSTARTS aims to raise awareness about multiculturalism and reduce racism and discrimination in our communities. The social movement encourages Simcoe County residents to complete an #ITSTARTS card and share a photo or video through social media using the hashtag #ITSTARTS. Residents are asked to tag @simcoecounty (Twitter), @CountyofSimcoe (Facebook) and @ExperienceSimcoeCounty (Instagram) in their messages.
This year’s campaign adds a culinary component as residents are encouraged to share photos of recipes and meals from various cultures on social media. The county created a unique #ITSTARTS cookbook and is asking partners and residents to test their culinary skills and share photos on social media of their meals and cooking experiences on March 1 and throughout the month – because #ITSTARTS with a meal.
#ITSTARTS cards, available in both English and French, are available through local libraries. It can also be downloaded through www.simcoe.ca/Itstarts which hosts resources, tips, and tools on taking safe and purposeful action against racism and discrimination. The cookbook is also available on the webpage. Videos and photos throughout the month will be shared and promoted through the county’s website and social media channels.
The initiative, in its third year, is supported by the Local Immigration Partnership including Barrie Public Library, City of Barrie, Georgian College, the Ethnic Mosaic Alliance, Lakehead University, OPP, Simcoe County District School Board, South Simcoe Police, Welcome Centre Immigrant Services (mobile unit), YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka.