Summer 2023 - FASS 214 D100

STT-Exploring EDI: This is My Story (1)

Class Number: 4723

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Jun 19, 2023: Thu, 3:30–6:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    15 units.



Life stories help us understand the ways in which power and privilege are obstacles to the full participation of many in today's society. Using life narratives, particularly the memoirs of BIPOC authors, you will explore the roots of the systems and structures that limit the opportunities for individuals and communities. This exploration will also help you reflect on your role as a change agent.


Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are key values in many contemporary professional, institutional, and organizational contexts, including higher education, business, health, entertainment, and sports among others. EDI initiatives are one way to ensure resources and opportunities are equally available to all. However, measures to implement EDI threaten to be mere tokenism rather than substantive actions for change.

This course is designed to help you understand the role of EDI in transforming spheres of practice, to increase your awareness of the need for such programs, and to guide you through a self-reflective process to determine the ways in which you can be an agent of change in the professional domains to which you belong. It will help you develop a self-reflective practice based on empathy for others and their experiences.

To do so, you will read excerpts from memoirs that call into question the Canadian image as one of openness, acceptance, and welcome. These life narratives highlight issues such as immigration, racism, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny as well as the ways these various systems of oppression intersect. This course will also introduce you to the skills needed to read, analyze, and critique such content.

This process of critical thinking about, analyzing, and reflecting on life stories will equip you to consider the world around you through various lenses to develop a deeper appreciation for the struggles that many face because of the identities they hold.

In addition to building you knowledge and awareness of these issues, you will have the opportunity to consider ways in which you can work towards social justice and to ensure that the world in which we live is more equal, diverse, and inclusive.


  • Assemble a framework to assess and interpret life narratives
  • Learn how members of a minority group or marginalized community negotiate life in Canada
  • Identify the structures that limit the opportunities of BIPOC as told in memoirs
  • Reflect on the experience of others and the ways in which they interact with issues of equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Consider meaningful change agency in mobilizing for equity, diversity and inclusion.

FASS 214 runs for 5 weeks (May 8-June 9). The first session is 1 hour, the rest of 4 sessions are 3 hours each. This is a 1 credit course.


  • Engagement, Reflection Journal, and Course Project 100%


This FASS Forward course is delivered entirely in-person. It is designed to improve your skills for future success and work in this class is expected to be of high quality. A competency-based grading system will be used to assess your academic performance and active participation in all learning activities. That means only a P (pass) or F (fail) will appear on your transcript. There is no numerical equivalent for the final grade, and it does not affect either your grade point average or cumulative grade point average.

  • P (pass) means that you have demonstrated your competency in relation to the learning objectives, met all the criteria for the course, and demonstrated the skills you have acquired.
  • F (fail) means that you do not receive credit for the course.



Students must have access to the internet as well as a computer and/other device that permits word processing.


All reading material* will be available online through the SFU Library or on Canvas as PDFs. Course readings include, and are not limited to, excerpts from the following:

  • Sidonie Smith & Julia Watson (2001/2010), Reading Autobiography: A guide for interpreting life narratives, University of Minnesota Press, 2nd Edition
  • Brandi Morin (2022), Our voice of fire: A memoir of a warrior rising, Anansi
  • Elamin Abdelmahmoud (2022), Son of elsewhere: A memoir in pieces, McClelland & Stewart
  • Samra Habib (2019), We have always been here: A Queer Muslim memoir, Viking Canada
  • Kai Cheng Thom (2019), I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World, Arsenal Pulp Press

*Changes, additions, and deletions to the list of readings may be made as the course progresses. Students will receive timely notice of any alterations.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.