UVic Diversity Writing Contest 2013

Spoken Word

Kanika Jackson / 1st Place

Kanika Jackson is currently completing her 2nd year as a Humanities student. She has always known her voice needed to be heard, and spoken word has become her favorite method of sharing that voice. She is a fierce feminist, an avid artist, and she knows she can make a difference.

Jasmindra Jawanda / 2nd Place

Jasmindra Jawanda was born in Victoria to parents of Indian origin. She considers herself a global citizen having travelled, lived and worked in Asia, Africa and South America, thereby deeply influencing how she views the world.  Her educational sojourn has traversed the academic landscapes of UVIC where she received a Bachelors in Economics and Japanese and then of UBC where she received a Bachelors in Education and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning.  As a Community, Urban and Social Planner, she is passionate about creating space for people and place.  Jasmindra says, “writing for me feels like an eagle needing to fly high, to spread her own wings of truth.”


Jody Collins / 1st Place

And This is Haven

Jody Collins completed a BA in Creative Writing at UVIC. She currently studies within the Master’s of Arts in Dispute Resolution and volunteers for Restorative Justice Victoria—to integrate creative theory and practice, transform conflict and activate reform as social justice. Since “And This Is Haven” is the mentor’s story, this narrative is for Jody's mentors and supporters at UVIC—each boldly emblematic of what is, what ought to be and what can be within some very special and critical conversations. As such, the narrator-as-mentor, the characters and the setting-as-social-justice are all together depicted as a haven for hope.

Sonia Manak / 2nd Place (tied)

Grandmother: The Forgotten Voice

Sonia Manak is a graduate student at the University of Victoria in the Faculty of Education.  Her research interests include: race and ethnic relations in Canada, Asian Canadian history, the Sikh diaspora and the use of popular theatre as a tool for social change. She is a trained educator and has worked in the area of anti-racist education and curriculum development.  Sonia’s interest in her community’s history began as a child listening to stories told by her grandparents about their migration experience.  Sonia would like to acknowledge the role her grandparents and parents have played in shaping who she is today. 

Andy Stuart / 2nd Place (tied)

Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion

Andy Stuart was born and raised in Victoria, and currently lives here with his wife, Andrea, 16 year old daughter, Rayna, and 6 and 3 year old sons, Jace and Callen. Outside of being a husband and father to an active family, Andy is a police officer with the Saanich Police and is currently enrolled in the online Masters of Public Administration program.

Personal narrative

Leat Ahrony / 1st Place

Please Don't Categorize My Multiculturalism

Leat Ahrony writes for The Martlet Newspaper, and Centered on Taipei community magazine on a broad range of subjects. She looks at the world with a curious eye, and her tingling fingers puts ideas and discoveries in words. Leat was brought up in Taiwan, and received North American/ international education. She was enrolled into UVic’s Business program since September 2011, and journeyed across the world to pursue higher education and celebrate diversity here at UVic. Leat continues to progress and promote her enthusiasm and passion for a global community, cultural diversity, and writing.

Emily Collis  / 2nd Place

Shayla and I

Emily Collis was born in Victoria and is proud to be one of the few who have stayed on the beautiful little island. She is a second year student at the University of Victoria and she plans to major in creative writing and minor in history. Emily loves all manner of nerdy things and is passionate about fantasy and genre fiction. She likes to shamelessly waste her time with YouTube, video games and movies she's seen a thousand times. She dreams of one day moving out of the attic and making a name for herself as a novelist.


Michelle Zakrison / 1st Place

Why I'll #IdleNoMore

Michelle is finishing up her Master of Laws at the University of Victoria, her thesis focuses on how colonial systems perpetuate the problem of poor drinking water on First Nations reserves in Canada & she is working with the Halalt First Nation.  She obtained her Law degree at the University of Ottawa and Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. She feels privileged to be part of the Idle No More community and dreams of a time when there will be no need for First Nations and environmental movements. She will be heading up to Iqaluit in May for a Clerkship with the Nunavut Court of Justice!

Frances Woodcock / 2nd Place

Heart and Bone

Frances Woodcock is a fourth year social work student. She is married, the mother of three daughters, and describes her family as the poster child for diversity! Fran is a lifelong activist and is passionate about social justice issues. Her poem explores themes of identity and belonging in the context of being a Settler woman in Indigenous territory. She won the Diversity poetry contest last year and had a short piece of fiction published in Escape: An Anthology of North Island Writers.