A guest post from the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office
By Breeonne Baxter on October 27, 2016
It’s Halloween party season and many UBC employees are planning their costumes for events on and off campus. Halloween is the one time of year when people dress up for fun in costumes – some of us do this to honour or spoof themes of creatures of the night, witches and otherworldly beings, others dress up to reflect prevalent themes in society.
The Equity & Inclusion Office reminds everyone, when making your costume choices, Culture is not a Costume. Let’s keep people’s culture and race out of the costume. Take care not to wear blatantly and unabashedly racist and or sexist costumes. It’s a matter of respect. Do your part to create and sustain a respectful environment wherever you are. Share this message widely on social media and with your unit and in the classroom.
Best wishes for a safe and respectful Halloween.
By Breeonne Baxter on March 31, 2015
UBC is proud to be named as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in 2015, as ranked by Mediacorp Canada Inc. This prestigious contest rewards Canadian companies that stand out through their efforts to create diverse, inclusive workplaces.
“What an honour! This award recognizes employers that have exceptional diversity and inclusiveness programs in the workplace,” said Dr. Sara-Jane Finlay, UBC’s Associate Vice President, Equity and Inclusion. “At UBC, we strive to create an environment that recognizes the importance of excellence, equity, and mutual respect for our students, faculty and staff.”
Some of the reasons why UBC was selected as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2015:
- established an Equity and Inclusion Office, which encourages dialogue on equity and inclusivity on campus and provides education and training to heighten awareness of human rights, equity and diversity across campus — the office also meets with all new academic heads to discuss the advancement of equity and diversity at UBC.
- through the university’s Equity Enhancement Fund, sponsored six on-campus projects that increased awareness of equity and diversity, including the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy school’s “Inclusive Campus” campaign to promote equity in the participation of students with disabilities in health and human service professional programs
- the university organizes campus-wide barrier-free recruitment and selection workshops and is currently working on initiatives to advance the recruitment and selection of persons with disabilities, in partnership with local community organizations.
- appointed a Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development to help develop a framework for advancing UBC’s commitment to intercultural understanding, which acknowledges the existing and growing diversity of the university’s student body, faculty, and staff — as part of this initiative UBC conducted interviews with faculty and staff and organized student focus groups in order to identify barriers to intercultural understanding on campus.
- also maintains an Aboriginal Strategic Plan to enhance recruitment, support and advancement of Aboriginal staff and faculty.
- organizes an annual Gender Diversity in Leadership Forum to connect female faculty members to leaders in their Faculties as well as within the University, and maintains a Leadership Advisory Group, which is responsible for expanding existing leadership opportunities at UBC and increasing diversity in related succession pipelines.
- offers “equity briefings” for search committees responsible for senior-level academic positions.
- welcomed additional facilitators of the university’s “Positive Space” campaign, which aims to make UBC a more receptive and welcoming place for LGBT individuals — and has offered approximately 180 workshops to staff and students on LGBT issues since 2002.
For more information on UBC’s people practices, please visit Focus on People.