KPU anti-racism workshop to help provide education about racial equity

The virtual, free two-hour workshop will be held over Microsoft Teams

Presenter of the workshop Litzy Baeza, a diversity, equity, inclusion, intercultural, cross-cultural communication and anti-racism educator. (submitted)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Task Force on Anti-Racism will be hosting an introductory workshop to anti-racism on June 18.

Presenter of the workshop Litzy Baeza, a diversity, equity, inclusion, intercultural, cross-cultural communication and anti-racism educator, will be going over what anti-racism is, what it looks like, and strategies students can use to apply it in their personal and professional interactions.

Baeza says she hopes students will leave her workshop feeling more prepared to ask themselves and others key questions through a racial equity lens such as “who are we inviting to the table? How are we addressing different racial groups, and are those people being invited?”

Dr. Asma Sayed, chair of the university’s TFA and also the Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies at KPU, says this workshop is working towards the education part of the task force’s mandate.

Sayed says that Baeza’s lessons will be a “great resource” for KPU students who attend the introductory workshop and that she’s looking forward to them having the time and space to ask questions.

By splitting the TFA’s educational workshops into strictly student or faculty only, they are hoping that students won’t feel anxious to ask questions or discuss something that they wouldn’t want their instructor to hear or potentially judge.

“Hopefully, [students] will come out not only with some knowledge but with some determination to engage further with some of these concepts, to learn more about these concepts, to want to make a change not only on our campus but in our community,” says Sayed.

When booking an expert like Baeza, Sayed says the task force first looks for somebody qualified to teach on these topics and then looks into availability and scheduling.

She describes the process of finding matching availability as challenging because of just how busy facilitators are, and how many other institutions are also working on tackling issues like equity, diversity, and inclusion.

“I just think it’s really important, especially in today’s present contexts, that we talk more about these issues and ways to address them in more tangible forms,” says Baeza.

“It’s really hard to get to those systemic issues in society, but I think as a whole, if we start to become more aware of it and make conscious efforts and decisions, we can get a little bit closer to eliminating practices.”

This workshop won’t be the last one put on by the TFA, says Sayed. She advises that students keep an eye on their website for future KPU events and external events.

If you’re interested in attending Baeza’s Introduction to Anti-racism workshop on June 18 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, email before June 15 with the subject line “Please register me for June 18th workshop for students.”

If you have any ideas for future workshops, Sayed asks that you also reach out to the same email, as the task force is receptive to student needs and thoughts.