Illustration of a Black scientist running down a hallway.

Where are all the Black People?

Underrepresentation in the Academy


The presence of Blackness in Canadian academia exists on a continuum of underrepresented, significantly underrepresented, to negligible. In light of ‘race and ethnicity’ studies existing in Humanities and Social Sciences, Black academics from this field have been at the forefront of examining the reproduction of racism in academe and making anti-racism calls to action. Rarely present in these conversations are Black academics in other fields, especially the hard sciences and STEM, whose struggles are both unique and overlapping, and who have limited space for contributing to academic activism generally, and the literature on race and racism specifically. 

The purpose of this speaker series is to foreground Black voices in fields where Blackness is particularly underrepresented, and provide actionable and measurable strategies to UBC to increase Black representation and Black excellence in these fields. Speakers from Canada and abroad will be highlighted.


Upcoming Events

Black Underrepresentation in Medicine and Community Health

Date and Time:

April 26, 2021 | 11:30 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. PDT

Registration:

Via Zoom Webinar

Speakers:

Dr. Alexandra Bastiany
Cardiologist, Thunder Bay Regional Health Centre

Dr. Mojola Omole
Surgical Oncologist, Physician,
Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Description:

From being the first Black female interventional cardiologist in Canada to working closely with the Black medical pathway programs at University of Toronto and Black pre-Med students across the province, Dr. Bastiany and Dr. Omole will address the issue of underrepresentation drawing from their experience and expertise.

Black Underrepresentation in Business

Date and Time:

May 19, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. PDT

Registration:

Via Zoom Webinar

Speakers:

Dr. June Francis
Associate Professor of Marketing,
Simon Fraser University

Ms. Dahabo Ahmed Omer
Executive Director,
BlackNorth Initiative

Description:

Dr. Francis and Ms. Ahmed Omer bring extensive experiences that span from the private sector, civil movement, to academic to speak about the underrepresentation of Black people in Business.

Black Women in the Academy

Date and Time:

June 23, 2021 | 9:30 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. PDT

Registration:

Via Zoom Webinar

Speakers:

Dr. Veronica Fynn Bruey
Multi-award winner, author, passionate academic-advocate, and innovator

Dr. Juliet Daniel
Professor and Cancer Biologist, Department of Biology,
McMaster University

Description:

Dr. Fynn Bruey and Dr. Daniel will speak from their journey and rich experiences in the academy, offer their insights about the challenges, and share their wisdom on the important topic.


Future Session Topics

  • Black Underrepresentation in Art History
  • Black Futures

Event Archive

March 25: Black Underrepresentation in Leadership Administration

A recording will be made available in the coming weeks.

April 16: Black Women in STEM

A recording will be made available in the coming weeks.


Sponsors


Co-organizers

  • Ismaël Traoré, Ph.D, Equity and Inclusion Office  
  • Paula Littlejohn, MHS, Microbiology and Immunology  
  • Handel Wright, MA, MEd, Ph.D, Centre for Culture, Identity and Education  
  • Ainsley Carry, Ed.D., MBA, MS, MSLVP Students  
  • Minelle Mahtani, Ph.D Provost Office  
  • Ninan Abraham, Ph.D, Faculty of Science  
  • Joerg Bohlmann, Ph.D, Michael Smith Laboratories  
  • Lerato Chondoma, LL.B, MBA Indigenous Research Support Initiative  
  • Shirley Chau, Ph.D, MSW, School of Social Work  
  • Mikky Atser, B.S,c, Cell and Physiological Sciences  
  • Asmin Chen, MBA, PMP, Equity and Inclusion Office  
  • Paul Akintunde, BA, CSM, Equity and Inclusion Office 

Illustration: From STAT News. © [2020] Boston Globe Media Partners. All rights reserved.