March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


March 21, 2021 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is a day for all of us to pause and reflect on the individual actions and systemic processes that perpetuate racial discrimination.

Our thoughts are with the workers who were murdered on the job recently in Atlanta, Georgia, and their colleagues, friends, and families. We are also thinking of Asian-Canadian colleagues, friends, families, services providers, and community members who may be struggling with the recent attack and have been enduring increased discrimination since the pandemic began last year.

We must all take the challenging steps forward to eliminate racism from our workplaces and in our society.

AAPS Advice, Support, and Representation

If you have questions or think that you may have experienced discrimination, bullying, or harassment, please reach out to the AAPS Office for a confidential conversation about your specific situation. Your conversations with AAPS are confidential, and we offer professional labour relations advice that is in your best interest. No situation is too small or benign. If discriminatory actions have impacted you, we encourage you to reach out.

Leaves for AAPS Members

There are a number of leave and accommodation options if you need to take time off from the workplace or stay on the job in a reduced capacity. Please contact AAPS, and we can look at your specific situation. Remember, the law does not distinguish between physical and mental health, and neither should you. If you are feeling stressed out, burnt out, or overwhelmed, take a sick day. Learn more about mental health resources.

Professional Development

There are a number of resources available to you as a member through AAPS and through your employer UBC to learn anti-racist practices. AAPS recently hosted two helpful PD sessions, “A Guide to Inclusive Meetings” and “Anti-Racism and Unlearning Anti-Blackness.” The recordings and resources are available. Please contact AAPS PD for the links.

As an AAPS member, you have access to the M&P Staff PD Fund and tuition waivers to certain UBC courses. The UBC Equity and Inclusion Offices at Point Grey and Okanagan Campuses have a number of educational opportunities and resources to support you and your teams. UBC also provides staff with access to their learning programs and Coaching@UBC.

We hope that you will join us in working to create anti-racist environments for all AAPS members.