Weekly Update, May 7, 2021: Asian Heritage Month

Dear members of the UBC community.

I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am speaking to you from the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

This is Asian Heritage Month; an opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian descent who, throughout our history, have done so much to make Canada the amazing country we share today. It’s a time to celebrate the incredible diversity that is our strength.

Asian Heritage month is taking place against a background of Anti-Asian racism and the continued tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a devastating humanitarian crisis in India. And yet, even in the face of such daunting realities, we see communities coming together, raising their voices and offering support to one another, within and across borders.

Both campuses are celebrating Asian Heritage Month. For example, UBC Okanagan is holding several events, including a poetry reading with former Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah, followed by Stories of Care — a project aimed at capturing and amplifying the stories of Filipino care workers, and the impact of the pandemic on them — stories of employment, unemployment, family, grief, healing, community and resilience.

You can find out more about this and other events at provost.ok.ubc.ca/asian-heritage-month-2021.

In addition, on June 10 and 11, the University of British Columbia will be hosting a two-day National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism in Canada. Speakers from across Canada will engage in frank conversations about this critical issue, leading to concrete recommendations for action.

While focused on anti-Asian racism, this national forum will also examine other forms of racism, in particular anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, and fortify our relationships in advocacy.

We’ll have more details on the forum shortly. I hope you can join us.

My unsung hero shoutout this week goes to Faculty of Medicine student Emmanuel Tse. Aside from his studies, Emmanuel volunteers his time with the March of Dimes, an organization that provides a wide range of services to people with disabilities throughout the country.

He develops a strong connection and relationship with the patients and provides them with the support they need through difficult times. His contribution is praised and acknowledged by patient’s families for volunteering his time to make a difference in the lives of others and in the medical profession. Emmanuel, UBC is proud of you.

And now, for my #songsofcomfort selection this week, I’m pleased to present Adrian Kwan and Kurt Chen playing the second movement of the Bach “Double” Concerto for 2 violins in D minor.

Stay safe and best wishes.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor