Let’s CampOUT This Summer!

CampOUT 2014 009

By Helena Zhu, Women Students Program Assistant at Access & Diversity

CampOUT! is a UBC-supported summer camp for British Columbia and Yukon’s queer, trans, and allied youth aged 14 to 21. Running from July 2 to 5, 2015 on Gambier Island, the sixth annual CampOUT gives opportunities for youth to become leaders for social change, meet new friends, access resources, and engage in imaginative, critical, and innovative workshops. CampOUT also features traditional camp activities, such as canoeing, campfires, and arts and crafts.

“I feel incredibly accepted and supported at camp, and that really helped me begin to accept myself,” one past participant shared after attending CampOUT.

CampOUT is an opportunity for diverse range of individuals to come together to learn more about themselves and each other. It also enables participants to learn about how they can act as allies across their differences and share their skills, while getting their needs met.

If you or your child is interested in a safe and inclusive space where you/they can develop leadership skills, build self-esteem, inspire each other, foster hope and resilience, and connect with resources that can support your/their health and well-being, give CampOUT a try.

The camp only costs $25 thanks to the generosity of community partners and donors. Application for CampOUT! is open now until Sunday, March 29. You can find more information and apply on CampOUT’s website. Should you have any questions, please contact CampOUT at campout.director@ubc.ca, 604-822-8298, or toll free at 1-877-678-2267.

Rule Out Racism 2015

Rule Out Racism bannerRule Out Racism is a week-long series of events that focuses on the need for greater literacy and conversation about race and racism within the UBC community in Okanagan and Vancouver. This year’s theme is “this is what anti-racism looks like,” and all events are from March 16-20. There are a wide range of events, from workshops, to panel discussions, to film screenings.

This year there will also be an evening featuring art that raises awareness about experiences of racism. Intercultural U is organized by UBC Equity Ambassadors and will have many interesting performers and featuring different types of art. Like all other events that are a part of Rule out Racism it is free to attend and open to everyone. Find out who is performing at Intercultural U and register here.

Rule Out Racism week is held in recognition of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is observed annually on March 21. See below for a full list of events during Rule Out Racism 2015. Read more about each workshop and register at diversity.ubc.ca.

  • Intercultural Fluency, Diversity, and International Peoples at UBC. Presentation on March 16, 12.30 – 2pm, in Irving K Barber Learning Centre.
  • Let’s Talk About Racism In Residence. Presentation on March 17, 12.30 – 2pm, in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.
  • Where are we in the world? Film screening on March 18, 12 – 1 pm, in Neville Scarfe Building
  • Anti-Racism Toolbox Workshops
    • When standing in front of the room is not enough: Facilitation skills for difficult conversations. Presentation on March 18, 11 am – 12 pm, in the Food, Nutrition and Health Building.
    • More than Hammer and Nails: Having Difficult Conversations and Building Allyship. Workshop on March 18, 2 – 4 pm, in Buchanan Building Block D.
    • Addressing Racism: from deer in the headlights to effective engagement. Workshop on March 18, 2 – 4 pm, in Buchanan Building Block D.
    • Cultural competency in a diverse classroom: Critical analysis and practice. Workshop on March 18, 2 – 4 pm, in Buchanan Building Block D.
    • Revealing Conversations: an engaging tool for generating safe, meaningful discussions. Workshop on March 18, 2.30 – 3.30, in Buchanan Building Block D.
  • Intercultural U. Evening of art and awareness on March 19, 6 – 8 pm, Sty-Wet-Tan Hall at the First Nations Longhouse. Register to ensure you get food.
  • Value of Freedom: Academics VS. Expression. Panel Discussion on March 20, 10 am – 12 pm, Sty-Wet-Tan Hall at the First Nations Longhouse (Wayfinding at UBC)
    • Drawing from their own experiences and reflecting upon recent media attention on the topic, faculty will discuss the issues raised when engaging with controversial issues.

The F-Word


Post by Hannah Barath, Access & Diversity Co-op Student Assistant

In November 2014, TIME Magazine posted a poll with a list of words and expressions that they thought should be banned in 2015. Next to sayings such as “bae”, “om nom nom nom”, and “sorry not sorry” one of the words on this list was the f-word. Not that f-word! The other one… feminist.

The magazine faced an immediate backlash following the release of this poll, and before long an editor’s note was added to the article. In this note TIME Magazine apologized for including the word “feminist” on the list but insisted that it was a joke that people had taken the wrong way and that it was intended to start a debate on how the word was used. Notably, it was never removed and still remains on the list today. Listed next to nonsensical words such as “yaaasssss” it doesn’t feel like a criticism on the way media uses “feminist”, rather it feels like they are making light on a social justice movement for equal rights that has been going on for over a century. The suggestion to ban the f-word – jokingly or not – feels, as Robin Morgan puts it, uncomfortable.

Regardless of TIME Magazine’s reasons for including this word in the poll, it illustrates a problem that feminist movements have had and continue to face. Feminists constantly deal with people who refuse to take their cause seriously (often combined with claims of feminists taking everything too seriously) and people who have misunderstood what feminism really is about. This unawareness of what feminism(s) truly stands for, combined with the fact that so many people have very negative connotations with the f-word, is one of the reasons I think people may be reluctant to identify as feminists. Continue reading

National Team – Sitting Volleyball: Learn, Play, Watch

The Canadian National Women’s and Men’s Sitting Volleyball Teams will be holding two training weekends here in the lower mainland in March and April, and hosting a number of community programs as well. All information is available on our website http://www.volleyballbc.org/sittingvolleyball and in the attached event guide. Here are some highlights:

March 27-29 @ Guildford Recreation Centre

  • National team training sessions open for public viewing
  • Learn to Play session for the general public
  • Coaching clinic

April 3-5 @ Richmond Olympic Oval

  • National team training sessions open for public viewing
  • Learn to Play session for Gr. 6 & 7 youth
  • Exhibition match with UBC Men’s varsity team
  • Learn to Play session for people with physical impairments
    • National team coaches will be in attendance for those interested in high performance.

The two weekends are presented by Volleyball BC, Volleyball Canada, the City of Surrey, and the Richmond Olympic Oval.


Intercultural U 2015

Intercultural U Web Banner 2015Post by Amanda Chiu and Melody Cheung, Equity Ambassadors
Edited by Hannah Barath, Access & Diversity Co-op Student Assistant

The UBC Equity Ambassadors are hosting the third annual Intercultural U on March 19th from 6-8 pm. This event was created to acknowledge and engage with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Aiming to go beyond multiculturalism, i.e. different yet co-existing cultures, intercultural understanding focuses on making connections with and increasing our knowledge of each other’s cultures. In previous years, Intercultural U has included pecha kucha, roundtables, and panel discussions. This year we are presenting an evening of art and awareness to promote understanding between the rich varieties of cultures that every student brings to our campus.

The event is taking place in the Sty-Wet-Tan Hall in the First Nations Longhouse. By hosting Intercultural U in this space we would like to acknowledge that we are learning, working, and living on the traditional, unceded, and ancestral land of the Musqueam people. We hope that the history and beauty of the Sty-Wet-Tan Hall will help us open up a dialogue that enhances our understanding of how cultures intersect with one and another.

We would like to extend an invitation to those who are interested in attending Intercultural U and learning more about diversity and intercultural understanding. This event is open to the public and free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided. To attend, please register at diversity.ubc.ca. If you have any dietary restrictions or need any other type of accommodation, please note these when registering. If you require accommodation please let us know at access.diversity@ubc.ca before March 5. Registration will remain open until March 16. No one will be turned away at the door, but we cannot guarantee accommodation or food unless you have registered. Make sure to check back for more information about performers and the program of the evening. Find us on Facebook and Instagram at “UBCEquityAmbassadors.”

List of performers:

  • The Forum Theatre Group, Changing the Lens
  • Spoken Word by Molly Billows
  • Spoken Word by Ivan Leonce
  • Song by Termeh
  • Original Video by Ewon Moon
  • Dance by Seri Malaysia Club
  • Paintings by Yuliya Badayeva, Pius Twumasi, Greta Taxis, Janna Kumi, and Yrenew J. K.
  • Origami Piece by Aaron Tong
  • And finally, Participatory Art by U!

NEADS’ Vancouver “Finance Matters” – An Interactive Day on Financial Literacy and Financial Aid

Join the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) for “Finance Matters” – An Interactive Day of Learning on Financial Aid and Financial Literacy, in Vancouver, British Columbia, March 20, 2015 at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown hotel, Crystal Ballroom, 6083 McKay Ave, Burnaby from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.!

This will be an innovative and educational one-day event with workshops and interactive presentations. The forum will comprise a series of workshops and discussions on a variety of topics including: budgeting and managing money while in school, effective borrowing, accessing student aid, creative saving, financial planning, the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

Finance Matters will include a demonstration of the unique financial aid portal developed by NEADS, DisabilityAwards.ca (<http://www.disabilityawards.ca/>http://www.disabilityawards.ca/). Students will learn how to be more successful in seeking funding for their studies and saving for the future. This will enable participants to better manage their finances during school and beyond. Gaining greater understanding of financial aid opportunities will lead to reducing the amount of debt.

There will also be a presentation on B.C.’s exciting new Work-Able: Graduate Internship Program, for post-secondary graduates with disabilities.

The event is free. Lunch will be served along with a light breakfast and refreshments. ASL interpretation will be provided. Thanks to our generous sponsors: the Vancouver Foundation and Vancity for making “Finance Matters” possible.

Speakers include:

* John Boylan, President of the Canadian Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, University of British Columbia

* Odette Dantzer, Work-Able: Graduate Internship Program, Hiring Strategies, B.C. Public Service Agency

* Ashley Silcock, Advocate, Disability Alliance B.C.

* Jewelles Smith, NEADS’ B.C. Director.

* Consultant, Financial Literacy, Vancity (speaker to be announced)

Register online here:


Go to the event page for further details:


Raising the flag for Outweek 2015


Post by Hannah Barath, Access & Diversity Co-op Student Assistant

The first couple months of the year are usually pretty grey, but from February 6 – 14 there will be a colourful addition to our campus. During this week the Rainbow flag will be raised for Outweek. This year’s theme is “Sowing Seeds and Setting Roots”.

Since the 1970s the Rainbow flag has been a symbol of pride, hope, and diversity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, two-spirit, and intersex (LGBTQ2I) communities. It symbolizes pride in standing up for and being the person one is; hope for progress and equal rights in society and around the world; and diversity within LGBTQ2I communities.

The flag raising ceremony that will kick off Outweek 2015 will be held at 12.30pm on Friday, February 6. It will take place at the flagpole plaza between the Student Union Building and Brock Hall. Rainbow cake will be served and there will be both gluten-free and vegan alternatives.

In 1978, San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed the first Rainbow flag with eight stripes: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet. According to Baker, the colours represented, respectively, sexuality, life, healing, the sun, nature, harmony, art, and spirit. Over time, the flag has evolved to become a symbol of solidarity and strength for LGBTQ2I communities. The current flag consists of six colours and is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers.

In 2015, LGBTQ2I communities still face discrimination. UBC flies the Rainbow Flag in support of our LGBTQ2I students, faculty, and staff. Please join us in celebrating the diversity of our campus.

Visit PrideUBC.com for more information regarding Outweek 2015.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2015

SAAM-fb-cover-photo-to-shareJanuary is Sexual Assault Awareness Month at UBC.

Sexual assault affects people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. Help end the violence by participating in one of many Sexual Assault Awareness Month events this January. Learn more about sexual assault, how to help prevent it, and the supports available for survivors. And don’t forget to wear denim on Denim Day, January 21, to show others you’re standing up against sexual assault.

We would like to highlight our keynote speaker, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Her talk, “Strong Communities Make Police Obsolete” will take place on Tuesday, January 27 at 12.30 – 1.30pm at the Liu Institute of Global Issues. For full details regarding this event see our online events calendar or our Facebook event.

Please find a highlighted list of events during SAAM below. Read more for more information and events. If you attend or would like to follow what’s happening on social media, use and follow us at #saamUBC.

  • Thursday 15
    • BARtalk #14: Feminism in the Media, hosted by AMS and Terry Project UBC. 6-7.30pm, at the Gallery Lounge.
  • Tuesday 20
    • Anti-violence ally training, 10am-12.30pm. Contact Ashley Bentley at AMS Sexual Support Centre, sascprog@ams.ubc.ca to register.
    • AMS SASC is screening the film Stalled, followed by a discussion with film-maker Megan Gardiner. 7-8.30pm, Irving K. Barber 261.
  • Wednesday 21
    • Denim Day: Stand up for a respectful campus and ask the same of your friends. Wear denim, a Denim Day sticker, or both on January 21 to stand against sexual assault. Stickers provided by Access & Diversity, email students@ubc.ca
  • Sunday 25
    • Place Vanier: Start Talking art show, Shrum Lounge 6-8pm. For UBC residents.
  • Tuesday 27
    • Access & Diversity presents keynote speaker Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 12.30-1.30pm, Multipurpose Room, Liu Institute.
    • AMS SASC, FUS and LFSUS are hosting a SAAM Showcase, 6-8pm, Agora Café.
  • Wednesday 28
    • AMS Speakeasy: Art Speaks – #StartTalking art exhibition, SUB Art Gallery, 5-8pm
  • Friday 30
    • Really? workshop: Anti-discrimination awareness response training, 3.30-5pm, Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge. Register at u@ubc.ca

For more information regarding events and to find resources related to sexual assault awareness, please visit students.ubc.ca/saam.

Transgender Day of Remembrance


Guest post by Mustari Tumpa, 2nd-year Arts student and Josh Macdonald, 3rd-year science student.

On Thursday November 20th we at UBC remember the individuals who have been killed as a result of transphobia (the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people). If you’d like to take part in remembering them, there are a few events being held at UBC.

Between November 17th and 20th there will be a table at the SUB to provide information and raise awareness about transphobia and the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

On November 20th there will be a Candlelight Vigil at the SUB concourse between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. Between 5:00 and 7:30 pm there will be a Memorial event at the SUB Art Gallery that will explain what the Transgender Day of Remembrance is all about. It’s also an opportunity for folks to share their experiences and listen to spoken word pieces and panel discussions.

And if you identify as trans or gender-variant, here few things that might help improve your experience at UBC which you may not know about.

If your preferred name is different from your legal name you can use your preferred name on online courses or on Connect, by profs, classmates, and colleagues, and as the name called aloud at your graduation (it’s a part of the graduation application). However, you do have to use your legal name on official letters, transcripts, and the graduation program.

For more information visit students.ubc.ca/campus/diversity or students.ubc.ca/access.

National Transgender Day of Remembrance(TDoR) – Events

Thursday November 20th – Candle Light Vigil
Time: 11am-3pm
Location: SUB Concourse

Thursday November 20th – TDoR Memorial Event
Time: 5pm-7.30pm
Location: SUB Art Gallery
Description: A discussion on what TDoR is, an opportunity for folks to share their experiences, spoken word pieces and a panel discussion of trans* issues.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 –  Allyship Discussion
Time: 3pm – 4:30pm
Location: SUB Ballroom
Description: This facilitated discussion creates space to examine how allyship is practiced in and out of queer communities. The focus is on allyship with trans folks and communities and how to transform our allyship into one that is better enacted and embodied.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Trans* Solidarity Discussion
Time: 3pm – 4:30pm
Location: SUB Ballroom
Description: This facilitated discussion is a space to examine solidarity within the trans communities. This space is created for trans-identified folks to discuss how to  navigate the range of experiences and needs that fall within this umbrella in a way that is active and intentional.