Managing Fragility and Saviourism Reactions in EDI work

In commemoration of BC Anti-Racism Awareness Week, join us virtually on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (PST) for “Managing Fragility and Saviourism Reactions in EDI work.” In this It Starts With Us session, we will have a conversation on combating racism in healthcare. Participants will gain valuable perspectives, actionable strategies and renewed inspiration to navigate the complexities of anti-racism work within healthcare settings. The panel will feature Derek Thompson, Maria Hubinette, Oakley Ramprashad, co-moderated by Saleem Razack and Harpreet Ahuja.

Speaker bios

Derek Thompson

Derek Thompson- Thlaapkiituup (He/Him),
Director, Indigenous Engagement, Faculty of Medicine

Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup is from the Ditidaht First Nation, one of 14 Nuuchahnulth communities along the west coast of Vancouver Island. The seas for miles of shoreline and all of the land on the western side of our Vancouver Island home, from Point No Point in the south to Brooks Peninsula in the north, is Nuuchahnulth territory – our haahuulthii.

Derek is the Director, Indigenous Engagement for the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and in 2021 he was the first Indigenous Advisor in the Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. Thlaapkiituup brings over 30 years of experience working with First Nations organizations and communities across the province and country to achieve wellness through health and related services.

His mission is to foster trust and mutual respect amongst students, staff and faculty in an effort to create an understanding of the commitments made by the Faculty of Medicine to redress and strengthen the relationship with Indigenous peoples and communities.

Maria Hubinette

Dr. Maria Hubinette (She/Her),
Family Physician,
Clinical Professor, Family Practice, UBC

Maria Hubinette (she/her) is a community-based family physician with a special interest in youth and women’s health, including survivors of gender-based and sexualized violence. She is Affiliate Faculty at CGSHE, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC and a Scholar at the UBC Centre for Health Education Scholarship. Dr. Hubinette was a former Assistant Dean, Equity Diversity Inclusion for the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

Maria engages in multiple forms of scholarship, in the domain of health professions education through lenses of social justice, equity, advocacy and social accountability. Broadly, her program of research (scholarship of discovery) explores how we conceptualize and operationalize social accountability and equity as health professionals. For example, one area of research unpacks how our curriculum including clinical learning reifies certain values, worldviews and abilities. Starting with her masters’ thesis exploring the construct of health advocacy, she has pursued a line of research around understanding health advocacy in health professions: how it is learned, how it is enacted, what motivates advocacy, etc. Another area of research considers the experience and professional identify formation of learners, particularly those that identify with groups that are traditionally under-represented in medicine. Scholarship of application includes assuming leadership roles and working with programs to address policies, processes and procedures that disadvantage certain groups using various forms of knowledge. Finally, scholarship of teaching includes translating these various forms of knowledge and perspectives into health professions education through development of curriculum, education tools and education practice.

Oakley Ramprashad

Oakley Ramprashad (They/Them),
EDI Manager for the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR)

Oakley Ramprashad (They/Them) are currently the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Manager for the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR), where they work closely to support the integration of more inclusive and intersectional practices into the research done at BCCHR. They are committed to fostering an environment and culture where all identities feel safe, affirmed, and celebrated. Oakley has over six years of experience in anti-racism research, facilitation, policy analysis, and consulting. Their education background includes a Master of Education and a Master of Arts in History, and their academic research examined the intersections of race, education, and incarceration, which, coupled with their own lived and work experiences, inform their approach to EDI work.


Dr. Saleem Razack

Dr. Saleem Razack (He/Him),
Senior Faculty Advisor

Dr. Razack is a Senior Faculty Advisor in the Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) in the Faculty of Medicine. In his role, Dr. Razack advises on strategy related to the implementation of a comprehensive anti-racism plan for the Faculty. He aims to serve in and contribute to the vibrant and diverse community within the Faculty of Medicine and its associated clinical and research sites.

Dr Razack joined faculty at UBC/BC Children’s Hospital on January 1, 2023, after a 25-year career as a pediatric intensivist and medical educator/education researcher at McGill University. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto. His research Interests in Medical Education include the intersection of assessment and professionalism with representation, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, for which he has had SSHRC and CIHR support. He is the recipient of the AFMC May Cohen award for outstanding contributions to equity in medical education, the Haile T. Debas award for contributions to equity in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill, and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada award for outstanding contribution to Medical Education.

Harpreet Ahuja (She/ Her),
Equity Advisor, REDI

Harpreet Ahuja (She/Her/Hers) is an Equity Advisor at the Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) within the Faculty of Medicine. In her capacity at REDI, she offers strategic guidance and supports capacity-building for department heads, faculty, staff, and students who are dedicated to implementing decolonization, anti-racism, and inclusive practices.

Harpreet is the daughter of an immigrant father from India and a Labradorian Inuit-Polish mother. She was born and raised in Montreal studying in French, then spent her teenage years in downtown Toronto. Her culturally diverse upbringing ignited her curiosity and fueled her passion for social justice.

Her journey into Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) awareness began as a law student when she was nominated by the faculty of law to serve as the Vice President of Equity for the Common Law Student Society. She carried her EDI change management experience into her role as an Investigator in the Critical Injuries and Deaths Division with BC’s Office of the Representative for Children and Youth, where she worked to prevent the deaths of vulnerable children in government care.

Harpreet’s approach to embedding EDI is informed by an international context. She has worked on death penalty cases in Malawi, studied genocide education in Rwanda, and Holocaust education in Poland and Germany. She provided legal assistance to migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border and resettled LGBTQI+ Syrian refugees, working out of a satellite office in Israel. She wrote children’s books for schools in Honduras and taught English to university students in Ecuador. Most recently, in October 2022, she worked as an Electoral Observer for the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Harpreet is a lawyer by training, holding a law degree from the University of Ottawa (2017) and a Master of Laws degree in International and Comparative Law from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law (2019). During her time at UCLA, she was honoured with the Dean’s Tuition Fellowship Award, UCLA School of Law’s Public Interest Award, and a post-graduate fellowship at Yale Law School. Her legal career began with Legal Aid Ontario, where she gained experience in refugee law, aboriginal law, and criminal litigation. She was subsequently Called to the Bar in Ontario and British Columbia.

Prior to joining our team, Harpreet served at arms-length for BC Corrections in the Adult Custody Division, where she was appointed by the Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General as an independent decision-maker presiding over disciplinary hearings within the 10 provincial correctional centres in BC.

Harpreet acknowledges that she is on the stolen lands of the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). She expresses gratitude to Indigenous Peoples for their enduring connection to their lands and is committed to learning how to work in solidarity as an accomplice in shifting the colonial default.

Topic: Managing Fragility and Saviourism Reactions in EDI work

Date: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm PST

Location: Livestream