Naiying Xue


Areas of Focus: Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access
Pronouns: she/her

Naiying was born and raised in Mainland China, and she came to the unceded Coast Salish territories in 2016 to pursue her studies. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Education in Adult Learning and Education from the University of British Columbia. In her previous roles, she gained valuable experience in designing, developing and implementing Indigenous Culture Safety curriculum and workshops to UBC Health Professional Programs. She recognizes the importance of considering power, privileges, prejudice, and positionality in decision-making processes, and she is deeply committed to amplifying traditionally underrepresented voices while fostering meaningful dialogue and engagement in culturally safe learning environments.

Naiying is enthusiastic about bringing her passion for education and decolonization and reconciliation work to the Centre for Dialogue and collaborating with partners and project teams to initiate critical dialogues that promote meaningful engagement and, ultimately, drive positive policy change.

What is your role at the Centre for Dialogue?

My official title at the Center is Dialogue and Engagement Coordinator, but being a facilitator or a dialogue practitioner is a new identity for me. Additionally, civic participation is a novel concept, considering the many political and cultural differences I experienced growing up in Mainland China. I am currently on a journey of unpacking what dialogue means to me personally and how different approaches to engaging people yield distinct outcomes.

The central focus of my portfolio is to facilitate the organization and delivery of high-profile and high-quality public engagement events in partnership with governmental agencies and external clients. Presently, my primary project involves working with the Burnaby Community Assembly, which launches from February to June 2024. The aim is to bring more diverse voices and perspectives into decision-making spaces and create culturally safe environments, especially for Assembly members facing systemic barriers to participating in conventional engagement events. As the first point of contact for Assembly members in this project, one of my personal goals is to cultivate a welcoming, warm, and culturally safe environment. I want everyone to feel comfortable, supported, safe, and empowered to share their authentic opinions, concerns, and experiences with the project team and their fellow Assembly members.

What does dialogue mean to you?

To me, dialogue is the art of cultivating a safe and inclusive space where individuals can genuinely understand one another and be understood. It acts as a dynamic platform that encourages the exploration and celebration of diverse perspectives, acknowledging the intricacies inherent in each person. Additionally, dialogue entails recognizing the profound impact of our positions and both conscious and unconscious biases on our decisions.

In my understanding, dialogue involves an acknowledgment of the power dynamics, privileges, and biases that may come into play during decision-making processes. It also entails empowering individuals to deepen their self-awareness and build their capacity, stamina, resilience, and endurance to navigate the complexities, paradoxes, tensions, and contradictions that arise when addressing dilemmas and contentious issues—without necessarily endorsing them.

Furthermore, dialogue emerges as a pivotal approach in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work, compelling us to participate with a heightened sense of accountability, humility, self-reflection, and critical awareness. It becomes a transformative force, urging us to contribute to a more enlightened and empathetic discourse.

What is a common assumption you'd like to de-mistify?

I would like to demystify the common assumption that individuals cannot simultaneously experience privilege and oppression. As complex human beings, we can navigate both sides of this spectrum. Specifically, being a racialized person does not exempt me from inadvertently contributing to the perpetuation of ongoing colonialism and the subjugation of others.

In the pursuit of decolonizing work, despite our best intentions and thoughtful planning, mistakes are inevitable. It's crucial to recognize that making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process. Embracing accountability for these mistakes, we can dust ourselves off through continuous learning and reflection. This process not only revitalizes our commitment but also empowers us to approach our work with renewed energy, ensuring that we do it in a good way.

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