Working towards a violence-free society

There is no vaccine for domestic violence. But that has not deterred Balbir Gurm from working to prevent relationship violence. “It’s not a shadow pandemic, it was a pandemic before COVID came around, says Gurm. Look at the definitions of pandemic and we’ve been in a pandemic of domestic violence for some time now.” She…

Cultural Spotlight – An Indigenous healing connection to the land

Suicide among Canada’s Indigenous people is disproportionally higher than in the non-Indigenous population according to a survey done by Statistics Canada (2011–2016). Less well known are the traditional means that Indigenous communities can draw upon to combat that tragedy. Alanaise Onischin Goodwill, PhD, spent two years studying the intergenerational effects of suicide and how the…

MOSAIC – Νew program aims to help immigrant couples navigate challenging waters

Cultural disorientation can inflict strain on personal relationships, says Pooja Tuli, a certified intercultural competence facilitator and a mental health first-aider. “Couples often see that they are slowly moving away from their traditional cultural roles and adapting to the Canadian lifestyle,” says Tuli, who also has an academic background including psychology and sociology. She is…

Gender inclusion in the workplace starts with they

In 2019, Merriam-Webster – America’s oldest dictionary – declared the word “they” its word of the year and added a new definition: used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is non-binary. Despite what some language skeptics might think, the use of “they” as a singular pronoun in English goes way back, even…

The Great Derangement – A call to action on climate change

“Climate change is the most important issue of our times,” says Indian writer Amitav Ghosh. Ghosh believes the stress associated with climate change has altered people’s mindset towards creativity and other issues. He also thinks that in literature, climate change has been simplified to a point where the intersectionality between other elements such as arts…

Cultural Spotlight: Ethós Lab, a model for building inclusive futures

“Young people are communicating more as avatars than as real people, so we need to understand what that actually means,” says Anthonia Ogundele, the founder of Ethós Lab, an afterschool program for young people aged 13–18, centred around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and creative entrepreneurship. Ogundele used her experience and skills as a…

Urban resilience: the idea of a city for its people

“The pandemic has rendered useless many of the urban resilience plans that have been made over the past decade,” says Simon Fraser University (SFU) professor Meg Holden (PhD), director of the Urban Studies Program. “It presented us with the kind of emergency that our cities were unprepared for,” she adds. She will be co-panelist on…

Authentic Indigenous voices needed in mainstream media

Some, but not all Canadians know about our country’s residential schools and the dark phase of Indigenous history that resulted from colonialism. Two Indigenous authors Michelle Good and Waubgeshig Rice feel the persistent lack of awareness and knowledge of Indigenous issues reflect the structural problems in mainstream media and education. As part of UBC’s “Indigenous…

Lessons in making chai, finding balance

An enthusiast of the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, Muneera Wallace has found a way to spread her knowledge to as many people out West as she can. On March 4, she will be offering an online workshop on making authentic Indian chai. The workshop will also include discussions about chai’s history and the medicinal…

Cultural Spotlight – Families prepare for Lunar New Year celebrations

Although widely used throughout the world, the Gregorian calendar is not the only one around and not the only one with New Year’s celebrations in January. The Lunisolar calendar, which tracks both solar years and lunar months, is responsible for the festivities falling on different days each year. In China, the largest country celebrating the…

Empowerment and hope at GenOne

In a series of talks and workshops, the University of British Columbia (UBC) First Generation Student Union (FGSU) and guest speakers will inform and empower their audience for the pandemic and beyond. People of all ages and backgrounds can attend the GenOne Conference. Co-presidents Zahra Fazal, age 23, and Jaskirat Malhi, age 21, share their…

Cultural Spotlight: Ubuntu philosophy: reciprocity and community

UBCO graduates and co-founders of the African Ubuntu Association Okanagan, Trophy Ewila and Lady Dia present I Am Because You Are vs. I Am Because You’re Not as part of the UBC Equity and Inclusion Office’s Through The Lens workshop series. The workshop and presentation will be held online Feb. 10, 2021 and centers around…