Embracing our differences

At the VPFO, we strive to create a diverse, inclusive, safe and vibrant workplace for our teams to thrive and build meaningful connections — and one of the first steps to achieving that is by embracing our differences.

In his TEDxWestVancouverED speech, Cole Blakely — a ten-year-old whose close friend is Steven, a 44-year-old man with Autism — teaches us the value of celebrating differences and reminds us that we are all different and that’s awesome!

The targeted shooting that killed 10 people in a black neighbourhood in Buffalo, NY this past weekend is a devastating reminder of the hate and discrimination that still exist against racialized communities, as well as the terrifying outcomes having a narrow and single-minded worldview may cause. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims.

If you feel distressed and require support, please reach out and get help from these UBC resources.

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

On this day, we recognize the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

While Canada’s LGBTQ population is growing, Statistics Canada’s report in 2021 shows threats facing LGBTQ Canadians — such as a spike in hate crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation. In 2019, police reported 263 such incidents, a 41 per cent increase over the previous year and the highest total since 2009.

Continuous learning is key

Your Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee has helped produce a series of free, 45-minute VFPO EDI canvas courses. These courses will help raise awareness on some challenging topics as well as offer time for self-reflection and growth. To access the course please log onto UBC’s workplace learning and register for the following courses: