Posted on behalf of Sashah Rahemtulla

In SRA, we know that we are often the first point of contact and connection to UBC that a high school/transfer student might have. It’s important and necessary that we as team commit to learning together so that we can embody the values of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). For most of us, this means engaging in a likely life-long process of learning and unlearning. This might mean questioning the ways things have been done in the past, looking to listen to and highlight different ideas and experiences – especially from groups that have been systematically marginalized and excluded in the past or currently. It often means having uncomfortable conversations and realizations of where we have done harm.

With the goal of doing better, fostering growth and creating more spaces for this learning, the SRA team has prioritized EDI topics in our staff retreats as well as monthly activities in this area. We wanted to share some of these sessions and activities to acknowledge the many amazing facilitators we’ve had, and also to encourage other teams and individuals to check them out and potentially do the same! You can click on the links for more information.

Here are some of the highlights:

Bakau Consulting is a full-service equity, inclusion and anti-racism consulting company based in Canada, with a global, intersectional approach (from their website). We attended these workshops by Bakau Consulting:

Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression – This session was facilitated by UBC Graduate Student Will Shelling.

Fundamentals of Gender & Sexuality – This session was facilitated by UBC Alumna Udokam Iroegbu.

Host Consulting Inc. is an Indigenous-led consulting firm comprised of members of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations whose unceded territories host the city of Vancouver (from their website). We attended these workshops by Host Consulting:

The Decolonial Toolbox – “This presentation will look to thoroughly unpack the tool of colonial erasure and the how’s and why’s of the colonial project. We will look at erasure through a historical lens and then make the connections to how colonization operates and continues today.” This session was facilitated by UBC Alumna Salia Joseph.

Erasure: Unpacking the Pillars of Colonization Then and Now – “The purpose of this presentation is to give an introductory overview to some of the ways that anti-native racism operates and to ultimately equipped the team with some essential tools for their decolonial toolkit such as being able to understand privilege, intersectionality, unconscious bias, the burden of representation etc.” This session was facilitated by UBC Alumnae Salia Joseph and Faith Sparrow-Crawford.

We highly recommend all of these sessions and it was wonderful to be learning from UBC Alumni as well! We’ll continue our learning and hope to inspire others to get started on their learning journeys as well.