The Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC) at UBC stands in solidarity with the Black community and supports the efforts of our colleagues in participating in #ShutDownSTEM on June 10, 2020. As researchers we acknowledge our complicity individually and collectively in participating in structural racism, and we take responsibility as individuals to educate ourselves. We reaffirm our intentions to work with others to transform academia, education, health care, and society—including in our work here at UBC.
We recognize that as a research center on unceded Indigenous lands, we have benefited from systems of white privilege, even while we have focused our research on how racism and other forms of discrimination affect people’s physical and mental health. Our commitment is to improve health outcomes and health equity for all youth, and to do that, we must continue to work together to eliminate racist practices and oppressive systems in academia and in youth health.
We support those who have chosen to shut down academia and STEM today. SARAVYC team members have been given the choice to strike and are supported to do so. Some team members have chosen to continue work today because our research focuses on racism and discrimination, especially among 2SLGBTQ+ youth of colour, and stopping our research for the day would be silencing the voices of youth of colour in our research. We are also having important conversations within our team to discuss racism in academia, what our role is to eradicate it, and how we can do better within our work together in our centre, and as part of the university. We are committed to advancing youth health and well-being through our active resistance towards anti-oppression in all stages of our research.
The SARAVYC Team