International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Social Sciences, Human and Social Development, Humanities, Fine Arts

- University of Victoria

On March 21, 2021, UVic joins the world to #FightRacism on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year’s theme, “youth standing up against racism,” honours the many young activists who are fighting for equality around the globe and calls on all of us to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerance.

UVic is committed to practices of equity, diversity, accessibility, inclusion and dialogue and was recently recognized for the tenth consecutive year as one of Canada’s top diversity employers. This year, we are developing a new Equity Action Plan to address systemic barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion.

As a community, we are engaged in an institutional equity action planning process and I urge us to continue to dedicate ourselves to working toward actions that help us realize our collective commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. – President Kevin Hall (view full president's statement)

Many students, faculty and staff have led important conversations and actions to #FightRacism and support equity, diversity and inclusion. Let’s fight racism together!

Anti-racism education 

Moussa Magassa is a specialist in equity, diversity, inclusion, human rights and partnerships at UVic. In his Q&A with Douglas Magazine he discusses racism and inclusivity in Canadian culture and workplaces.

Explore the training, advocacy and resources offered by the office of Equity and Human Rights.

Communication and dialogue 

Devi Dee Mucina, director of UVic’s Indigenous Governance program and author of Ubuntu Relational Love: Decolonizing Black Masculinities speaks with CBC’s Kathryn Marlow about violence at anti-racism protests in the United States and racism on the Island.

Alumnus Parker Johnson (BA ’20), host of This is Table Talk, facilitates community discussions and hosts networking opportunities for self-identifying people of colour to share lived experiences, recently spoke with CBC’s Rohit Joseph about systemic racism in our society.

Cultivating BIPOC communities on campus was a focus of PhD alumna, Amy Tang (MA ’15, PhD'20). Tang devoted her time on campus to breaking barriers and building community, including the BIPOC English Grad Student Support Group, which aims to combat systemic racism at UVic.

Research and publications 

Challenging Racist British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting  co-written by seven authors including: Christine O’Bonsawin (History / Indigenous Studies), Nick XEMŦOLTW̱ Claxton (Child and Youth Care) and John Price (History) delves into the history of racist policies impacting Indigenous, Black and racialized communities in BC.

Jasmine Dionne (MSc, PhD, Trudeau Scholar) has a guiding principle to her research: kanaweyimowewin, a Cree term meaning to protect and defend. She focuses on the role of Indigenous law and diplomacy in renewing and restructuring kinship governance practices, to help lead communities away from gender violence.

Cultivating Growth and Solidarity: An Anti-Racism Zine for Asian Youth (and Adults too!) was created by an intergenerational, interdisciplinary team of UVic researchers. The resource provides mental health support to Asian youth who need it as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause increased feelings of stress and isolation. 

Building on their research and national exhibit, the Landscapes of Injustice project will launch its digital archive database on March 28. The archive collections provide insight into the dispossession of Japanese Canadians in the 20th century. 

Creative arts 

Alumna Rudra Manani (BFA '20) uses her artistic talent to explore racism, diversity and inclusion. Her visual art helps start important conversations and explore culture and race through the lens of non—verbal communication.

Students Natsuki Abe, Nathaniel Hayes and Jennifer Landrey created a choose-your-own-adventure game called Into the Interior as part of the field school for History 430: Canada’s Internment Era. The game allows players to experience some of the events Japanese Canadians were subjected to during this period in history.

Read the President's Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960. Source


In this story

Keywords: racism, diversity, human rights, administrative, student life

People: Moussa Magassa, Devi Dee Mucina, Parker Johnson, Amy Tang, Christine O’Bonsawin, Nick XEMŦOLTW̱ Claxton, John Price, Jasmine Dionne, Rudra Manini, Simone Blais, Natsuki Abe, Nathaniel Hayes, Jennifer Landrey

Related stories