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

Please check back for more events.

Event Archive

March 25: Black Underrepresentation in Leadership Administration

April 16: Black Women in STEM

April 26: Black Underrepresentation in Medicine and Community Health

May 19: Black Underrepresentation in Business

June 10: Black Underrepresentation in Art History

June 23: Black Women in the Academy

July 5: Black Futures



  • 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 

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