In June of 2020, the Faculty Association sent a message to the membership in response to the upsurge in racist acts towards Black, Asian, Indigenous and racialized populations in Canada and the U.S. noting that these individual acts of violence and aggressions are supported by broader societal and institutional structures. We made a public commitment to develop an equity committee within the Faculty Association to work towards the removal of systemic bias and discrimination and to provide education and training to promote equity, diversity and inclusion at the University and within the Faculty Association. In response to this commitment, the Faculty Association struck a working group on developing an equity committee proposal for the membership.
The working group quickly realized that a broader equity committee might not have the capacity to respond to the urgency of issues the world faced in June of 2020 regarding racialized violence and its ongoing individual and structural impacts. We redirected our efforts to create a committee focused on Anti-racism and Indigeneity to better answer the needs of BIPOC faculty and the FA and UBC’s ongoing efforts on Anti-Racism, decolonization and reconciliation.
Additionally, after discussions within the working group and after a consultation session with equity seeking groups in bargaining in the Fall of 2021, it was clear that we also needed more than one committee to address ever expanding concerns under EDI. After consultation with the Status of Women committee chair and with the SWC itself, a plan was made to rename and expand the mandate of the SWC to become the Equity & Accessibility committee. The E&A committee would still retain the portfolio on women faculty but expand its structure to house working groups dedicated not only to women and gender diverse faculty but importantly to faculty with disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA+ faculty and other groups as they arise. These two standing committees: Anti-racism and Indigeneity Committee (new) and Equity and Accessibility Committee (the expanded SWC) would work alongside and together to better attend to the numerous and intersectional needs that fall under broader EDI categories. Each committee would have its own chair position and a seat on the FA Executive Committee.
We would appreciate your feedback on the proposed mandates of these new standing committees on Anti-Racism and Indigeneity and the Equity & Accessibility, which once approved by the membership will be incorporated into our Bylaws. Members of the executive have forwarded your name as possible interested parties and knowledge holders.
We would be so grateful for your participation in a brief survey. Please review the proposed mandates outlined at the beginning of the survey. We would appreciate your feedback by Friday May, 6th.
Your survey link will be sent separately by email.
We thank you for your time and support,
UBCFA VP and Chair of the Working group on Equity/Anti-Racism
UBCFA Status of Women Chair