Week of events at UBC Okanagan seeks to expose racism and privilege

Students and faculty at UBC Okanagan are throwing open the shutters on racism with a week of events on the university campus to expose racism and privilege on campus and in the Kelowna community.

Activities will take place in the campus courtyard from March 17 to 20, leading up to Friday, March 21 -- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“Often systemic and institutional forms of racism are not recognized, especially by those who have privilege,” says Dr. David Jefferess, Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies and faculty chair of the organizing committee. “We are seeking to ‘Open the Shutters’ on racism, quite literally, by creating an interactive week-long display that will help people examine the way in which racism and privilege are experienced in our community.”

A variety of special events will be held on the campus throughout the week, including:

  • “OPEN the many shuttered windows” in the campus courtyard all week -- learn about different examples of racism and privilege.
  • “CREATE your Own Identity Bag” on Monday, Mar. 17 in the campus courtyard, from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • “LEARN About Community Agencies,” also Monday in the Arts Building foyer
  • “EXAMINE Race and Privilege” in a facilitated workshop on Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2:30 p.m., Library LIB305.
  • “DISCUSS Racism in Our Community” in a discussion circle, Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2:30 p.m., Arts Building Atrium (refreshments will be provided).

Resources for the week of events have been provided by UBC Okanagan’s Department of Critical Studies, Campus Life Office, and Human Rights and Equity Services Office.

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