Adapting to COVID-19 – Answering the Call to Being and Becoming an Ally

Note: This session has passed. Please view the resources here.

Audience: Students, faculty and staff

Session Description:

Join us as for a dialogue with a diverse panel of anti-racism educators and activists. They will share their views on what it means to be an ally, how to become one, and how to acknowledge and disrupt systemic racism. Responding to amplified calls to confront systemic racism, the panelists will discuss how to navigate these complex dynamics in post-secondary campus and classroom interactions. Panelists will explore the importance of addressing intersectional oppressions embedded in teaching, curriculum, research and service as well as the adverse impacts that structural and epistemic racism have on BIPOC faculty, staff, students, and communities.


Harminder Padda is currently a second-year student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Thompson Rivers University. He has been a member of the Intercultural Learning Team at TRU through cooperative education and was a core team member for the 2019 Learning at Intercultural Intersections Conference.  In 2019-20, Harminder was a research assistant working on a project to assess the impact of the Intercultural Ambassador Program. In these roles, Harminder has worked with students from around the world and enjoyed learning about their lives and perspectives. Harminder strives to bring forth and expand the depth of Intercultural Learning within healthcare to provide the highest quality of care as a future nurse.

Rohene Bouajram is the Program Director, Global Campus Initiatives at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver where she provides strategic leadership and direction for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program as well as the Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge and Resource Centre, a hub for globally-focused student organizations on campus. She has an MA in Intercultural Communication, BA in Psychology and is certified as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). Rohene has worked in areas related to intercultural dialogue, international recruitment, project management, ethical engagement, crisis intervention, policy evaluation and teaches courses related to Canadian immigration legislation. With over sixteen years of experience in post-secondary and international education, Rohene has coached and advised international students as an International Student Advisor and RCIC as well as led many teams at multiple Canadian educational institutions. Her excitement for holding space for courageous conversations often leads her to dive headfirst into opportunities to engage ethically and authentically in intercultural settings.

Dr. Moussa Magassa is the UVic Human Rights Education Advisor and Specialist in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Partnerships. In this role, he focuses on: (1) enhancing understanding of and commitment to, the university’s human rights and equity goals by raising the awareness of all UVic communities on a range of human rights issues with the end goal of increasing diversity and creating a fair and inclusive work and study environment; (2) researching, developing, implementing a strategic Anti-Racism Education Program for university constituents (professors, students, and staff); and (3) acting as a conduit for anticipating and identifying potential campus human rights and social justice issues in order to promote a university culture that values diversity and embraces the accompanying change.

He holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (UVic) where his research focuses on critical race theory, Anti-racism education, Islamophobia, human rights education, diversity, equity & inclusion, and immigrants and refugees’ integration and adaptation in host communities. Moussa also holds an MA is in human security & peacebuilding (Royal Roads University, Canada); BA (Hons) in conflict resolution and peace studies (Kwazulu Natal University, South Africa); diploma in forced migration and refugee studies; and various advanced certifications in human rights and humanitarian law, conflict mediation, and intercultural communication and development.

Dr. Justin Wilson descends from an intercultural background consisting of Haíɫzaqv, Deutsch and Guatemalan roots. He describes himself as an 18-year-old father of two and is happily married on the unceded and occupied lands of the Líl̓wat, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Shíshálh (Sechelt), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) Peoples. Justin has been involved in Indigenous capacity building efforts Provincially and Nationally since 1991 and is currently co-chair for the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators Decolonization, Reconciliation and Indigenization standing committee in British Columbia. Current scholarly activities include Pulling Together: A guide for Indigenization of post-secondary institutions; A Professional Learning Series as well as Looking Back to the Potlatch as Guide to Truth, Reconciliation and Transformative Learning. Scholarly interests include Operationalizing UNDRIP/Bill C-41, Indigenous Peoples Experiences in the Canadian Workplace, Bullying, Gaslighting & Collegial Supremacy, Intercultural Communication, Transformative Learning, and Indigenous Men’s experiences with Paternalism, Anger & Shame. Professionally, he works in the faculty of Psychology at Capilano University, Aboriginal Studies, as Department Coordinator, at Langara College, is a Men’s Anger Management Therapist for Moose Anger Management and is Principal for The Way Finding Group offering intercultural resiliency training & coaching.

Dr. Amie McLean is acting Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Curriculum for Work Integrated Learning at Simon Fraser University. She is a white settler of Dutch and British heritage living and working on the unceded occupied territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc within Secwépemc’ulucw. An ethnographer and Sociologist, she takes an anti-racist feminist approach to examining power dynamics and social justice issues in work and post-secondary education in Canada. She has previously published on post-secondary funding policies for Indigenous students; exploitation, neoliberalisation, and trucking industry regulation; and racialized politics of mobility and excretion among long haul truckers.  She is dedicated to supporting the development of inclusive and anti-oppressive learning and working environments.

Dr. Sae Hoon Stan Chung is a Korean Canadian writer, academic, and consultant. Chung is a senior advisor to the Ktunaxa Nation Council and a former associate professor of communications, dean of arts and science, and vice-president academic. He has conducted research, written award-winning screenplays, and published books, reviews, and academic articles. The Kelowna Daily Courier featured his column, Global Citizen, for ten years.

Chung holds a PhD from UBC. His dissertation explored neuroscience and artificial intelligence in the work of Pauline Oliveros. Chung is currently the principal of a strategic consultancy focussed on Indigenous socioeconomic innovation. He is the author of peer-reviewed articles “The Courage to Be Altered: Indigenous Decolonization for Teachers” and “The Morning After Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report: Decolonisation through Hybridity, Ambivalence, and Alliance.” His books include Global Citizen: River of Love and Other Essays and I Held My Breath for a Year.

Moderated by:

Dr. Kyra Garson: Intercultural Coordinator, Faculty of Student Development, Thompson Rivers University. Kyra is an educator and faculty developer who is interested in intercultural learning, and equitable and inclusive pedagogies. Her research interests include critical pedagogies, faculty development, multicultural group work, and intercultural learning. Kyra’s doctoral study entitled “Are we graduating Global Citizens?” received the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education’s dissertation of the year award in 2014. In 2011, the Canadian Bureau for International Education selected her to receive the Internationalization Award for her work with faculty to intercuturalize the curriculum. In 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by the British Columbia Council for International Education.