Challenging Racism and Discrimination

Recent events have brought into sharp focus the deep-rooted racism and violence that Black and Asian communities in North America continue to face. Racism has no place in modern society, whether it takes the form of violence or systemic discrimination, and whether it is directed against Black, Asian, Indigenous communities or any other ethnic minorities.

Tackling discrimination means not only highlighting and challenging individual acts of prejudice but addressing the systemic problems that continue to oppress and disadvantage marginalized groups. We welcome President Santa Ono’s open letter outlining the University’s commitments to equity and diversity.

The 10,000 graduate students we represent come from across the world to study at UBC. As such they bring diverse perspectives and direct experiences of discrimination. Their voices can play a powerful role in challenging prejudice and in spreading knowledge outside campus.

Students’ academic and personal ambitions should never be compromised by discriminatory actions. This begins with the opportunity to engage in higher education, by removing barriers which disproportionately exclude individuals of marginalized groups.

On campus, inclusivity must be embedded in all aspects of life from curriculum planning to service design. This must be championed even if it requires challenging long-established conventions. Our commitment to Equity & Diversity is only true if it is absolute and unwavering.

Earlier this year the Society formally adopted commitments to champion equality and diversity on campus and beyond. These include:

  • Emphasizing in our advocacy the unique and intersectional issues that graduate students experience, with special respect to those from marginalized groups.
  • Engaging with student representatives from across campus to encourage and promote equity, diversity, and inclusivity in the ways these groups need.
  • Dedication to building community for marginalized groups via academic, professional, social, and recreational services.

We support graduate students who fight racism and prejudice in all its forms, and we actively encourage graduate students to contact us about how we can support marginalized groups more effectively.

The GSS Executive Team

Kimani Karangu (President), Nicolas Romualdi (VP University and Academic Affairs), Alireza Kamyabi (VP External Relations), Sarah Park (VP Students), Tayo Olarewaju (FEOO)

Additional materials

Contact the GSS

The GSS statement on Equality, Diversity and Exclusivity

PDF copy of the statement

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) is run by and for the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver. We promote and protect our members’ academic, social and cultural interests.

Thea Koerner House, the home of the Society, has been the centre of graduate student life on campus since it was opened in 1962.


More from GSS

Most Recent Articles

Upcoming Events

Construction Progress Weekly Photo Reports

GLC before construction

Week 21 – July 07 2023

Week 20 – June 30 2023

Week 19 – June 23 2023

Week 18 – June 9 2023

Week 17 – June 2 2023

Week 16 – May 26 2023

Week 15 – May 19 2023

Week 13 – May 05 2023

Week 12 – April 28 2023

Week 11 – April 21 2023

Week 10 – April 14 2023

Week 9 – April 6 2023

Week 8 – March 31 2023

Week 7 – March 24 2023

Week 6 – March 17 2023

Week 5 – March 10 2023

Week 4 – March 3 2023

Week 3 – February 24 2023

Week 2 – February 17 2023

Week 1 – February 10 2023