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for Students

Jump-start your mind and heart

Join your peers at UBC Connects for Students, for a unique opportunity to connect with some of the world’s most esteemed thought leaders in an intimate and interactive setting. UBC connects the dots — and people — to shed light on the world’s most pressing issues.

Featured Speakers

Desmond Cole and Robyn Maynard

This special event for UBC students will provide an opportunity to connect with Desmond Cole and Robyn Maynard during an interactive question and answer session.

This event will take place on March 12, 2021
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Presented in partnership with UBC Okanagan

Register Now

Visit the UBC Bookstore to purchase the speakers’ books

Social Justice

About the Speakers:

Desmond Cole
Desmond Cole is a journalist, activist and author. He has spent the last 10 years reporting and commentating on politics and social justice. He is especially interested in the struggle for Black liberation within Canada. Cole’s work includes 10 years of local and national news coverage, five years of radio broadcasting at Newstalk 1010, a disruptive opinion column with the Toronto Star and an award-winning magazine feature. His first book is the national #1 bestseller The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power.

Robyn Maynard
Robyn Maynard is a Toronto-based writer and the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present. Her writing on policing, criminalization, gender and anti-Black racism is taught widely in universities across North America.

Maynard has a long history of activism toward the abolition of policing, prisons, and borders. Most recently she is the author of toolkit called “Building the World We Want: A Roadmap to police-free futures in Canada”, and the forthcoming Rehearsals for Living, an epistolary collection co-authored with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Knopf Canada, 2022).


November 15, 2021

Leanne Simpson

Thinking with the Land


December 2, 2021

Michelle Good

Education through dialogue: the human cost of colonialism

Social Commentary

February 18, 2022

Fran Lebowitz

A conversation with Fran Lebowitz and Eleanor Wachtel


May 18, 2021

Maaza Mengiste

Pluralism: Strengthening respect for diversity

Social Justice

March 12, 2021

Desmond Cole and Robyn Maynard

Beyond the Police state: a conversation with Desmond Cole and Robyn Maynard


March 4, 2021

Kevin Kwan

Represent, Represent: The stories we tell change the world around us


November 3, 2020

Justice Edwin Cameron

Justice: A View from South Africa


September 23, 2020

James Makokis and Anthony Johnson

“Our Existences Are Political”: Identity and History as Pathways for Transformation


July 31, 2020

Vandana Shiva

The Future of Food and Farming in a Pandemic World

Bassem Youssef


March 2, 2020

Bassem Youssef

The Middle Eastern Monologues



November 25, 2019

Donna Strickland

Laser Focus: Insight from a Nobel Laureate



November 4, 2019

Ziya Tong

Blind Spots: Rethinking Your Reality



September 10, 2019

Helen Fisher

Swipe, Right?: The Future of Romantic Relationships in the Digital Age



March 13, 2019

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an award-winning Nigerian author whose work has been translated into over thirty languages.



March 6, 2019

Tarana Burke

A movement that empowers: “Me too” and the role of empathy in healing and change

John Kasich


February 26, 2019

John Kasich

Two-term former Ohio Governor John R. Kasich is a politician, a New York Times best-selling author, and a Senior Political Commentator for CNN.



February 11, 2019

Michael Pollan

Food, plants and psychedelics: Revolutionary approaches to human health and well-being

Isabel Allende


November 20, 2018

Isabel Allende

The Alchemy of Truth: The power of story to change the world

Michio Kaku


September 26, 2018

Michio Kaku

The Universe in a Nutshell: Why physics is the key to pretty much everything

Waneek Horn-Miller


April 19, 2018

Waneek Horn-Miller

The Wisdom of Reconciliation: A roadmap for multiculturalism

Jeremy Rifkin


March 8, 2018

Jeremy Rifkin

The Third Industrial Revolution: Can we prevent the next mass extinction of life on Earth?