Equity, diversity and inclusion are necessary conditions for attracting and retaining the best and brightest students, faculty and staff from around the world. This requires that we create inclusive environments free from racism in which to work, learn and live.
Over the last year, UBC has launched a series of initiatives addressing systemic racism within our community. They include launching an Anti-Racism Initiatives Fund on both campuses, providing $200,000 for cultural programming; launching the Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Program to support recruitment and scholarships for Black Canadian students; hosting Canada’s first National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism; launching UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan and establishing a task force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) supported by the Office of the President and the Co-Executive Leads for Anti-Racism.
The ARIE Task Force, which includes 32 students, faculty and staff, convened for an intense period of work between March and July 2021. In April 2022, the task force put forward 54 recommendations in a final report to address systemic racism against Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC) within the UBC community and to promote inclusive excellence across UBC’s two campuses.
The recommendations collectively underscore the reality that UBC has a deep-seated problem of institutionalized, systemic, and other forms of racism that cut across its various units on both campuses, and affect Indigenous and racialized students, faculty, and staff.
Six major themes emerged:
- There is a need for anti-racist education for all individuals at UBC, including senior administration
- There is a need to both recruit and retain IBPOC faculty members and staff
- There is a need for developing a system for handling complaints involving IBPOC faculty members, staff and students
- There is a need to establish and routinize anti-racism as academic, intellectual and activist work at UBC, including through an office and a living library
- The well-being and sense of belonging of IBPOC members of the community featured prominently in the recommendations
- Finally, action is required to address workload inequities experienced by IBPOC faculty members and staff
The ARIE task force joins the Indigenous Strategic Plan, the Inclusion Action Plan and other projects as primary aspects of UBC’s continuing efforts to address all forms of discrimination and to make for a more equitable and inclusively excellent institution.
Visit https://antiracism.ubc.ca to learn more.