It’s been a busy year for the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) in 2014. EIO educator Jenica Frisque helped coordinate a significant and diverse agenda at UBC Okanagan. Here are her top experiences from her first year at the EIO.
Rule Out Racism: In March 2014 a panel of talented faculty from across disciplines joined in a conversation about institutional racism and racist micro-aggressions. Plans for this year’s events are currently underway.
Equity Enhancement Fund: In May five groups were awarded a total of $25,000 toward equity and inclusion related projects on campus. The call for new proposals is now open.
Positive Space campaign: In June a train-the-trainer workshop was offered to staff, students and faculty to be positive space facilitators. Since then over 100 members of the campus community have been trained to be resource persons dedicated to raising awareness of LGBTTQIA+ issues.
CREATE: In August the EIO worked closely with the AVP Students Portfolio to provide equity and inclusion training to the student leaders and volunteers involved in CREATE student orientation. At the start of the academic year, the EIO organized Diversity and Equity Week as part of SPARK, the new student orientation month.
Vivek Shraya’s visit: In September Toronto artist Vivek Shraya came to UBCO to present his film What I LOVE about being QUEER. It was a delight to hear him facilitate conversations about what it’s like to be queer in a small place like Kelowna.
Culture is Not a Costume campaign: The EIO led a campaign to raise awareness about appropriate Halloween costumes and to discourage the reproduction of racist and sexist stereotypes.
Really? campaign: This anti-discrimination response training started at UBC Vancouver’s Access and Diversity Office and is based on the work by Ishu Ishiyama, associate professor of psychology. To date, three workshops have been held at UBC Okanagan.
Trans Day of Remembrance: With the help of a student group, the EIO hosted events on and off campus to recognize the International Trans Day of Remembrance.
Inclusive Language campaign: Since December, the EIO has been working with a student leader to develop an inclusive language campaign called “Your Words Have Power.”
All of these activities would not have been possible without the learning and guidance received from working with an important group of campus volunteers and supporters who identify as trans, queer, aboriginal, racialized or disabled. The Equity and Inclusion Office is open to supporting new ideas and initiatives. To get involved or find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.