Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

SPPGA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Statement

In recognition of the existence of systemic inequalities and discrimination in higher education, the SPPGA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee is committed to fostering an accessible, inclusive, equitable, and respectful environment. We commit to realizing a healthy and welcoming place of teaching, learning, scholarship, policy, and community engagement at the School for Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

SPPGA is located on the traditional, unceded, ancestral territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation. We acknowledge that the work of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion cannot take place without recognizing and engaging with the history of settler colonialism which underlies the presence of the university and its communities on these territories, and commit to the work of actively cooperating with and supporting the goals of UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP).

*SPPGA community members, please find more resources on race, equity, diversity, and inclusion on our SPPGA Arts Internal Resources (AIR) site.


The first SPPGA EDI Committee was formed in February 2021, and is currently working towards a comprehensive action plan to align with and to advance the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Inclusion Action Plan (IAP), the Indigenous Strategic Plan and in accordance with forthcoming recommendations of the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Task Force. The Committee’s initiatives will also be informed by and support the UBC-wide anti-racism and inclusion initiatives. The Committee seeks to foster a learning environment that respects diversity of perspectives in the classroom and in the SPPGA community in accordance with strategies 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 15, 17 of the UBC Strategic Plan core areas.

The Committee collaborates with the SPPGA Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Collective, founded in July 2020 to facilitate open, constructive, and progressive conversations between faculty, staff and students.

David Markwei, Graduate Student Representative
Erin Baines, (she, her, hers), Chair, Faculty Representative
Esther Ocheni
, Graduate Student Representative
Heidi Tworek, (she, her, hers) Faculty Representative
Rebecca Alegría Monnerat, (she, her, hers) Staff Representative
Tara Cookson, (she, her, hers) Faculty Representative
Tsering Shakya, Faculty Representative

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any member of the Committee.

The EDI Committee is currently conducting a review of UBC policies and resources to develop an action plan, priorities, and timeframe in the following areas and as identified in the Inclusion Action Plan. Core action points are:

Action 1 | MPPGA Curriculum, Teaching and Mentoring
Review and revise where appropriate curriculum, teaching, and mentoring to reflect our commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion in accordance with the UBC Strategic Plan, the IAP and the ISP. Advance recommendations working in consultation with students, staff and faculty, and the Graduate Committee.

Action 2 | SPPGA Policies and Frameworks
Review and revise where appropriate existing policies, frameworks, and practices through an EDI lens. Develop new equity and inclusion policies, frameworks, and best practices with an eye to the creation and adoption of best practices for the SPPGA policies.

Action 3 | Recruitment, Retention and Success
Review the current SPPGA hiring plan through an EDI lens. Integrate EDI frameworks, and best practices into existing recruitment and retention policies for students, faculty and staff.

Action 4 | Reporting Mechanisms and SPPGA Equity Liaisons
Create a confidential process for students, staff, and faculty to report concerns, document events and seek redress and resolution. This process will identify relevant steps and resources within SPPGA and UBC.

Action 5 | Capacity Building
Provide learning opportunities, foster conversations, host talks and workshops and provide resources to build a diverse, inclusive and equitable SPPGA and MPPGA.

Action 6 | Relationships of Exchange
Connect with the UBC EDI office and other unit EDI committees to learn, contribute, and collaborate on action plans. Develop a coordinated approach to work with and support the student-led REDI collective of students, staff, and faculty. Develop a coordinated approach to work with and support the ISP. Develop equitable, trusting, and respectful relationships with communities.

Action 7 | The Indigenous Strategic Plan
Consult and cooperate with the Office of the Indigenous Strategic Plan, and develop the EDI action plan in consultation with Indigenous communities.

A critical part of EDI success is transparency and accountability. The Committee’s ongoing work will be documented, assessed, presented, and evaluated in an annual report on its progress in realizing its action plans and responding to needs and areas of improvement as they emerge within the School. Minutes of meetings and tasks of the Committee will be coordinated with REDI in a publicly available document that is updated following each meeting and event, and through ongoing dialogue.

SPPGA Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI)

REDI (Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) is an open collective of graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff at the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) that fosters open, constructive, and progressive conversations to build a more equitable and inclusive school. As part of the mission of REDI, we seek to allocate resources and provide solutions to problems highlighted by our community regarding all pillars of our school.

REDI meets regularly throughout the year to share ideas and discuss ways that we can make SPPGA a pacesetter in creating inclusive, respectful, and progressive learning and work environments at the University. These values are achieved via cooperation with the SPPGA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and some of the initiatives that are ongoing include: working with UBC’s Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives on implementing the Indigenous Strategic Plan, establishing a Student Equity Liaison, diversifying guest speakers and readings as part of the MPPGA curriculum, hosting events on intersectionality, and conducting surveys to assess communal sentiments. All members of the SPPGA community are welcome to attend REDI meetings.

Student leadership was instrumental in establishing REDI, with staff and faculty joining in solidarity in these efforts. REDI emerged following the acts of racial violence and subsequent demonstrations against systemic racism and oppression in the United States and Canada in 2020. Moved by these events, MPPGA students shared their own experiences of micro aggressions, exclusion, and neglect among themselves as well as with faculty members and staff, thus marking the beginning of this initiative.

To receive information and to connect with REDI, visit Contact.


Through the Lens: Through the Lens is a series of interactive workshops designed to enhance UBC staff, faculty and community members’ understanding of diversity, while offering practical ideas for creating a more equitable and inclusive campus.

EDI Training and Education: Our education and training program includes customized presentations, briefings, panel discussions, and educational programming delivered to students, administrators, faculty, staff, representatives from unions, employee associations, departmental equity committees and the wider community.

UBC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office: UBC EDI provides a full range of services that support employment equity, education, leadership and proactive initiatives while building resiliency and a respectful environment through Informative Resources ; Knowledge & Skills Development; and, Conflict Engagement.

CTLT Indigenous Initiatives: Indigenous Initiatives at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology develops and offers programming, resources, and consultations focused on Indigenous engagement in curriculum, pedagogy, classroom climate, and professional development. To facilitate respectful and meaningful dialogue in learning spaces on campus and within the communities it works, it provides support and professional development for faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate students who are teaching in face-to-face, blended, or online classes.

Inclusive Teaching at UBC: This course was created for instructors in all disciplines interested in creating more inclusive learning environments, but are not sure of where to start. Online tool-kits.

Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia: The guide offers five inclusive teaching principles derived from research and evidence-based practices. In addition, the guide contains practical, accessible, and usable strategies that instructors can use immediately.

Resources on Indigenization: Supporting the systemic change happening across post-secondary institutions with decolonization, reconciliation, and Indigenization, the open education resources include a Foundation guide and audience-specific guides, to include leaders and administrators; teachers and instructors; front-line staff, advisors and student services; researchers; and curriculum developers. (BC Campus)

Cultivating Inclusive Classrooms: Ongoing student activism at the University of Michigan and across the United States has been a catalyst for renewed faculty engagement in issues of diversity and inclusion. In response to that activism, and in order to build upon existing efforts within the College of LSA to address climate concerns, we commit to providing innovative teaching methods and tools that foster success for students through inclusive teaching practices.

Accessible Syllabus: Accessible classroom resources promote student engagement and agency (Tulane University).

Anti-racism in academia: A non-exhaustive list of key considerations for educators wishing to cultivate anti-racism and solidarity in their teaching practice.

Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre: RSHDC is a Survivor-centred and trauma-informed space, facilitating access to records related to Canada’s Indian Residential School System. Drawing on community engagement, emergent technologies, and creative and collaborative structures, the RSHDC aims to facilitate a variety of engagements and support informed dialogue and more transparent information practices, research and pedagogy. Explore exhibitions, browse the collections, listen to Survivors, attend an event and learn about the on-going legacy of residential schools in Canada.

Fairness Toolkits on reporting and conflict resolution.

Office of the Ombudsperson for Students: The Ombuds Office works with all UBC community members to ensure students are treated fairly and can learn, work and live in a fair, equitable and respectful environment.

AMS Advocacy and Ombuds: The Advocacy and Ombuds offices are here to help you resolve disputes during your time at UBC. We do very different things, but together form the conflict resolution team.

UBC Investigations Office: The UBC Investigations Office conducts arm’s length and impartial investigations into sexual misconduct and discrimination which are guided by the principles of procedural fairness, respect and a trauma-informed approach. We investigate complaints received from both campuses that fall under Policy SC17: Sexual Misconduct or Policy SC7: Discrimination.

Bullying and Harassment Prevention: This website provides information for UBC faculty, staff and student employees on how to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace; how to handle and report bullying and harassment; and how to support a respectful environment in the workplace.

EDIHuman Rights Office: If you have concerns related to discrimination on the basis of one or more of the 14 grounds protected by the BC Human Rights Code and as defined by UBC’s policy SC7: Discrimination, the EDI Human Rights team is here to help. Protected grounds include real or perceived: age, ancestry, colour, family status, marital status, physical or mental disability, place of origin, political belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and criminal conviction unrelated to employment.

EDI Conflict Engagement Office: At UBC, conflict engagement is defined as any process designed to address conflict with another party, and may include: conflict resolution, conflict management, conflict intervention, conflict investigation, conflict exploration, and/or conflict transformation. Our approach to conflict engagement is guided by our conflict engagement framework.

Faculty Association: The UBC Faculty Association is committed to promoting the interests of UBC Faculty and UBC, upholding principles of academic freedom and freedom from discrimination and harassment. The UBCFA acts as the bargaining agent of all faculty members employed by the University of British Columbia and regulates relations between the faculty members and the University through collective bargaining.

UBC Sexual Assault Policies and Resources: Should a student feel they have experienced sexual misconduct, they should report it to the UBC Sexual Violence and Response Office: svpro.ubc.ca. Also see: svpro.ubc.ca/report-options. UBC’s policies around sexual misconduct aim “to support all members of the UBC community who are affected by sexual misconduct, to provide a central site for information regarding the resources and options available to those affected by sexual misconduct, to create and make available programs and resources to educate its community on the prevention of sexual misconduct, and to provide a process to respond to and investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.” The university defines the terms and policies under the newly updated (1 July 2020) UBC Sexual Misconduct Policy #SC17. The policy states “Sexual or intimate relationships between individuals ... where there is a supervisory role or where an individual has influence over a student’s current or future academic activities, working conditions, or career advancement are Prohibited Relationships.”

Respectful Environment: UBC Respectful Environment Statement for Students, Faculty and Staff speaks to our freedoms and our responsibilities, and provides the guiding principles to support us in building an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, opportunity and inclusion are valued.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities (Policy LR7)
Access to the University of British Columbia (Policy LR10)
Response to At-Risk Behaviour (Policy SC13)
Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment (Policy SC3)
Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct (Policy SC17)

Vice Presidential Strategic Implementation Committee for Equity and Diversity

The Indigenous Strategic Plan: The Indigenous Strategic Plan sets out a series of eight goals and 43 actions the university will collectively take in order to advance our vision of becoming a leading university globally in the implementation of Indigenous peoples’ human rights.

The Inclusion Action Plan: This plan presents an opportunity for UBC to continue to develop its potential as a groundbreaking 21st century institution, including its leadership in creating global influence through its equitable, diverse, and inclusive campuses.

Trans, Two-Spirit and Gender Diversity Task Force: As part of efforts to advance UBC’s commitments to inclusion, a Trans, Two-Spirit, and Gender Diversity task force provides strategic direction to UBC’s senior leadership in the area of gender identity, gender expression and human rights.

Disability: Centre for Accessibility provides support and program initiatives designed to remove barriers for students with a disability or ongoing medical condition.A variety of support is available for eligible students. This includes academic accommodations such as exam adaptations or the production of alternate-format material. They also provide non-academic services including mobility training and priority placement for on-campus housing.

Early Alert: With Early Alert, faculty, staff and TA’s can identify their concerns about students sooner and in a more coordinated way. This gives students the earliest possible connection to the right resources and support, before difficulties become overwhelming.

The Health Student Caucus provides a forum for health and human service (HHS) student leaders to discuss common education issues, provide feedback on the development, implementation and evaluation of interprofessional learning opportunities, and ­­­­contribute to the advancement of Interprofessional Education (IPE) at UBC.

Counselling Service: Students can call Counselling Services at 604 822 3811 to schedule an appointment by phone. First-time appointments are booked for the same day.

Indigenous Portal: Your pathway to learning about UBC’s commitment to Indigenous engagement at its Vancouver campus and an information resource for Indigenous students, faculty and the wider community.

Religious and Spiritual Life on Campus: Learning about or joining a spiritual practice.

LGBTQTSI on campus: On this page you will find resources specifically for LGBQ and questioning students, connections to communities that support sexual diversity, and how to be an ally on campus. Your active and visible support can make a difference to all students.

The UBC Black Caucus

Mental Wellness Pilot Project for Black Students, Faculty and Staff