March 21 is International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Today we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

While we can and should reflect on our progress advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion to date, this day serves as a call to action for individuals and institutions to continue to work to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, systemic racism and hate, including those that manifest as anti-Indigenous, anti-Black, anti-Asian, anti-Muslim and anti-semitic.

Our individual and collective engagement is essential to ensuring that all members of our campus community are treated with respect and dignity. so that we can all learn and work in safety, and have equal access and opportunity to succeed in academic and professional pursuits.

As a university, we continue our engagement and investment into advancing our commitments to anti-racism.

Released in 2022, the President’s Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Final Report is a comprehensive account of issues of race, racialization and racism from campus community members with lived/living experience.

In 2021, the university received support from the Canadian Race Relations Foundations to host the National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism. The discussions from this event led to the publication of a final report developed to inform and inspire people across all sectors to mobilize and take the necessary action to continue the fight against anti-Asian and other forms of racism in Canada.

In 2020, UBC signed the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education. The Charter offers principles, actions and commitments that reflect a collective recognition of the realities of anti-Black racism, encapsulates shared aspirations to address them, and provides a concrete framework for delivering on promises.

As part of the university’s response to these recommendations, the Equity & Inclusion Office (EIO) is mobilizing a Strategic Equity & Anti-Racism (StEAR) Framework and Roadmap for Change. These initiatives will guide the implementation of the university’s anti-racism and inclusive excellence priorities, among other priorities identified in several equity-related institutional plans and task force recommendations. Explore our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about our approach and next steps related to implementation.

To learn more about what you can do to combat racism generally, visit the Government of Canada website and the United Nations websitededicated to anti-racism and this day.

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”

Desmond Tutu

If you require confidential advising on experiences of racial discrimination, please contact our Human Rights Advising Team or submit a confidential online advising request.

If you require strategic consultation on how to develop and enact anti-racism leadership and organizational change for your academic or administrative unit, please contact the Strategic Partnerships & Capacity Building Team in the EIO by submitting a request for a consultation.
Arig al Shaibah
Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion