Moving forward: Next steps for anti-racism dialogues at SFU Surrey

May 10, 2021
Print

As many of you may know, May is Asian Heritage Month. I want to first take some time to acknowledge and celebrate all those in my life as well as all those in the SFU community who are of Asian heritage. The anti-Asian violence that we’ve seen due to COVID-19 has been heartbreaking and unconscionable, and I want you to know that I stand with you during these times.

Amidst the anti-Asian sentiment and the guilty verdict in the George Floyd murder trial, I recognize that here at SFU there is still a lot of learning and unlearning that needs to happen. We need to continue to hold one another accountable as we move towards a campus community – and society as a whole – that is anti-racist and committed to change.

In light of all this and so much more, I want to provide an update on some of the work that we have been doing at the SFU Surrey campus. Last summer, we engaged a number of faculty and staff members as part of an anti-racism working group to work together on understanding what we want to do as a campus community.

While we had hopes for activities in the Fall 2020 semester around this, we as a group want to ensure that we take time to do this correctly. I’m pleased to share that we have identified a facilitator, Camille Dumond, who will be a critical piece of this group and the work that we want to do at the Surrey campus moving forward.

Having led the RADIUS Refugee Livelihood Lab, Camille is no stranger to the Surrey campus. She is both warm and welcoming and will be a gentle guide through our important anti-racism work.

We know that addressing anti-racism is an ongoing process, and my hope is that this is one step of many that takes us in the right direction. I encourage you to reach out to one another if you need support, and to also share some of the work that you are doing in your own departments or schools. I would love to hear what you all are doing in the area of equity, diversity, and inclusion and see if there is a way to amplify and help.

I’ve attached some resources at the end of this blog should you need them, and invite you to get in touch with me directly if you want to share actions you are taking or what I can do to help you. Please take care out there!

Beyond the blog: Asian Heritage Month and SFU EDI resources

  • As mentioned, May is Asian Heritage Month. SFU launched a space for self-identified Asian members of the community to submit reflections on what Asian Heritage Month means to them. You can submit your reflection and read the other reflections here.
  • In March, SFU put out a number of resources and calls to action against anti-Asian racism, which you can view here.
  • Visit the SFU Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion website for up to date news and access to resources on what the university is doing to move towards being a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community. 
  • If you or your unit have made progress in the areas of equity, diversity or inclusion and would like to share with the community, SFU invites you to share it with them! Please submit this form to share it with the university community.

 

Image from SFU. In Japanese culture, the wave symbol, or seigaiha, is symbolic of life-giving water, peace, and good luck, and can also represent power or resilience. It was originally used on ancient Chinese maps to depict the sea and later adapted for use on Japanese clothing. This interpretation was done by SFU designer Carolyn Lee.