Celebrating Women at UBC: Nicole Wayara

Nicole and Passions

Nicole Wayara is a 4th year Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice Studies major at UBC. When she is not studying, Nicole is an active member of the RAGA collective (Race, Age, Gender & Autobiography), a sister in the Delta Gamma sorority, and an invested member in a project titled AWRS (the Academic Well-being of Racialized Students). Outside of UBC, she volunteers with Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW). In her spare time she enjoys cooking, writing, and practicing kick-boxing.

Nicole is passionate about anti-racism and anti-violence initiatives, critical race theory, youth empowerment, and a variety of decolonization efforts that are in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. She is passionate about working towards a society where women can live without the threat of violence (particularly sexualized violence). “Sexualized violence against women is just too prevalent, too close to home, too important for me not to put my energy into. It’s an epidemic that effects half the population globally. We should all be passionate about ending violence against women,” she says.

Nicole would like to see more anti-violence workshops at local high schools and middle schools. She likes the idea of fostering responsibility towards systemic change by starting with young people. “They’re not apathetic, they’re capable, they are intelligent, they can engage with it,” she says.

Nicole and Women’s Issues

This International Women’s Day, Nicole is celebrating her mother who raised four daughters as a single working parent and impressed upon them the concept of self-determination. She is also celebrating the work of all women of colour. She sees them as role models who kick ass on a daily basis despite the patriarchy and racism that exists.

For Nicole, female empowerment is a process of learning and unlearning. She has learned more about her own strength, capabilities, desires, and they’ve translated into her acceptance of who she is. She is aware, that even as feminists we can still enact patriarchy; we all say or do things that are not in line with supporting the efforts of women around us.

Nicole also believes that self-care is really important. She feels that female empowerment is her taking care of her own needs as well as those of other women.  She thinks that within circles of friends, within our own communities, we can enact female empowerment with the words we say and the actions we do to better ourselves.

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