Recent events have brought the issue of systemic racism to the forefront prompting all orders of government and organizations to take a much closer look at racial discrimination and develop strategies to address this long standing issue.
In response, Metro Vancouver hosted a series of forums on systemic racism for elected officials in the region featuring
Dr. Handel Wright and a panel of storytellers, with discussion moderated by
Kathryn Gretsinger, an award-winning CBC broadcaster .
The forums were presented in a virtual / Zoom environment for elected officials but were also livestreamed so that members of the public could view the presentations and discussion. Four forums were held during the month of November 2020 with over 100 elected officials from across Metro Vancouver participating -
highlights can be found here.
First forum, November 7, 2020
Kathryn Gretsinger – In addition to being a professor at the UBC School of Journalism, Writing and Media, Kathryn is a long time public broadcaster at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with a record of creating award-winning work at the local and national level in Canada. Kathryn is also a Killam Teaching Prize winner and she was named as one of North America’s top innovative journalism educators in 2018.
Kathryn is a respected mentor and trainer at CBC, where she continues to work in the public broadcaster's Learning and Development department. She works across platforms, but her first love is audio. She leads training workshops for reporters, producers, editors and hosts on performance and audio skills including podcasting and compelling storytelling. There is a strong social justice undercurrent to Kathryn’s work. Her commitment to teaching, reporting and fostering dialogue about issues of social justice, Indigenous relations and mental health appear in the courses she teaches and in her key collaborations.
Dr. Handel Wright of UBC – Dr. Wright is a professor in the Department of Educational Studies and director of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education. His work focuses on continental and diasporic African cultural studies, critical multiculturalism, anti-racist education, qualitative research, and curriculum theorizing. Dr. Wright's current research examines post-multiculturalism, youth identity, and belonging in the Canadian context. Dr. Wright received a B.A. from the University of Sierra Leone, an M.A. from the University of Windsor, and an M.Ed from Queens University. He completed a Ph.D. in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. At UBC, Dr. Wright has been Canada Research Chair of Comparative Cultural Studies and David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education.
Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson – Dr. Gilpin-Jackson is a social scientist and founder of SLD Consulting, with a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems. A winner of the 2018 Harry Jerome Professional Excellence Award, she was named International African Woman of the Year by UK-Based Women4Africa. Dr. Gilpin-Jackson is also the first ever recipient of the US-based Organization Development Network's Emerging Organization Development Practitioner Award.
Dallas Yellowfly - Member of Siksika First Nation, born and raised on Sto:lo territory practicing coastal cultures. He is a comedian, film maker, musician, and founder of 3 Crows Productions, a unique group of Indigenous Educational Storytellers. Dallas is a performing artist touring the province in schools, universities and theatres. His most notable work is a multimedia performance called "Qwalena: The Wild Woman Who Steals Children" a storytelling presentation exploring the intergenerational impact of residential schools on his family.
Tammy Hu – Tammy is a financial analyst turned yoga instructor who does stand-up comedy. She spent the first 21 years of her life in China's noodle land, and has been proudly mispronouncing long vowels in Vancouver, BC for the last 9 years. Tammy was a semi-finalist in the 2019 Yuk Yuk's Comedy Competition, a member of the 2019 rookie league in Vancouver TheatreSports, a winner of 2020 "Homebody Championship".
Dr. Neila Miled – Dr. Miled holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from UBC. She was a Liu Scholar and UBC Public Scholar and she is currently a member of the UBC Migration Cluster and the Center for Culture, Identity and Education of UBC. Dr. Miled's research explores the socio-cultural and policy contexts of education in relation to Muslim/ immigrant and refugee youth. She particularly focuses on refugee young women in BC, and the complexities contouring their settlement, education and integration. Dr. Miled also holds an M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership from UBC, worked in several countries, and is actively involved in community organizations that support refugee women and families in Metro Vancouver.
Gurpreet Singh – Gurpreet is a newscaster and talk show host with Spice Radio 1200 AM based in Burnaby. He writes for Ricochet Media and the Georgia Straight. Gurpreet is also the director of Radical Desi, an online magazine that covers alternative politics and the cofounder of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India that was established in response to growing violence against religious minorities in India under a right wing Hindu nationalist regime. He has published four books, including "Fighting Hatred with Love: Voices of the Air India Victims' Families," and "Why Mewa Singh Killed William Hopkinson."