Our Approach

A new Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism (StEAR) Framework will guide the implementation of UBC’s various equity and anti-racism plans and recommendations.

StEAR Framework overview

Please note that this online platform for the StEAR Framework is in development and further updates on the StEAR Framework content and progress tracking are forthcoming.

The StEAR Framework reflects the need for individual and systemic interventions across four nested organizational domains for change – structural, curricular, compositional, and interactional.

The framework grounds planning, implementation, and evaluation efforts to realize a specific goals in each of the domains. The framework also provides a template for developing specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) objectives and identifying inputs (resources) required to sustain efforts, as well as measures of progress (outputs and outcomes) across the four aspirational goal over two, three, and five-year horizons.

Organizational domains for change

Systems-level change



To develop institutional principles, paradigms, and processes that build organizational capacity to enable, drive, and sustain systems change through equitable and anti-racist leadership, governance, and accountability.

STRATEGIC DRIVER: institutional principles, paradigms, and processes.

Recommendation: Develop and establish mechanisms of accountability through race-based data and reporting.

  • UBC's Employment Equity Survey enables employees to confidentially self-identify with federally and other designated groups, and helps deepen our understanding of the demographic composition of UBC employees. Last year, the survey was integrated into Workday with revised self-identification questions and response variables to enhance data collection and analysis of employment equity data. In October 2021, the EIO launched an Employment Equity Survey campaign, the first administered through Workday, with the aim to increase overall participation in the survey and streamline data collection. Responses to the 2021 survey were united with historical data stored on the University Data Platform for a more robust response rate and capture of UBC's faculty and staff, currently at 75 per cent institution wide. A number of institutional activities that aim to provide targeted programming were informed by employment equity data gathered through the survey. The goal for the fall 2022 campaign is to achieve an average response rate of 80 per cent or more.


  • The Equity & Inclusion Office, Enrolment Services, Planning and Institutional Research (PAIR), and Enterprise Data Governance are working with key stakeholders on a project to develop a centralized demographic data collection strategy for students, including clear definitions and standards for collecting student data for use with administrative records and institutional surveys. These definitions and standards will become part of the UBC Data Governance Program to be applied by the University consistently and comprehensively. The project will deliver recommendations to the Data Governance Steering Committee in the fall of 2022, with a goal of launching a student demographic survey pilot for the fall 2023.



Work in the curricular domain aims to promote locally and globally relevant and responsive ways of learning, knowing, and translating knowledge through equitable and anti-racist teaching, research, and community-engagement programs and pedagogies.

STRATEGIC DRIVER: academic programs and pedagogies.

Recommendation: Increase educational opportunities on anti-racism for all faculty members and administrators.

  • The Equity & Inclusion Office, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) and the CTLT Indigenous Initiatives team facilitated five anti-racism workshops for instructors and interested community members, and delivered four anti-racism in teaching and leadership sessions to 25 faculty members in Faculty of Applied Science. At UBCO, the EIO continued to provide proactive and reactive anti-racism trainings for students and staff.



Work across the compositional domain seeks to expand the representational diversity of the student body, professoriate, staff complement, and senior leadership and enhance lifecycle experiences of historically and still contemporarily underrepresented groups through equitable and anti-racist recruitment, development, and retention.

STRATEGIC DRIVER: people, policies, and practices

Recommendation: Increasing recruitment and retention of Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC) faculty; Enhance sense of belonging for IBPOC through expanded community-building and networking opportunities at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.

  • In 2022, the JEDII Summer STEM Series brought together faculty and staff across the university in a series of participatory workshops to build their understanding of fair and equitable processes that support the intentional recruitment and inclusion of historically, persistently or systemically marginalized groups at UBC.


  • Following the 2021 Atlanta shootings that targeted women of Asian descent, the IBPOC STEM Network was created to provide a safe space for women and gender-diverse faculty, staff postdocs and graduate students who identified as Indigenous, Black and/or a Person of Color (IBPOC) to gather, build community, and find support. Network programming is focused on enhancing wellbeing, cultivating a greater sense of belonging, building greater self-efficacy, supporting retention and initiatives that mobilize justice, equity, decolonization, Indigenization and inclusion within units. In 2021-22, the IBPOC STEM Network hosted five in-person socials at UBCV to support networking and community-building and a series of four virtual speaker sessions and social gatherings.


  • At the Vancouver campus, the EIO programming included the delivery of a presentation highlighting the interests and concerns of IBPOC staff at UBC; development of a wellbeing survey for IBPOC-identified staff and faculty to gather feedback on programs, resources, and other supports that contribute to wellbeing at work and overall career success; support for a self-care workshop for IBPOC-identified participants, and launching of an IBPOC STEM Women’s network.


Individual-level change



Work across the interactional domain seeks to develop individual proficiencies that build campus community capacity to foster positive and effective intergroup relations and cultivate a climate that promotes human rights, dignity, equality, and belonging through equity and antiracism training, education, and dialogue.

STRATEGIC DRIVER: individual proficiencies

Recommendation: The need for sustained anti-racism training and education; Increase educational opportunities on anti-racism for all faculty members and administrators.

  • Through the winter 2023 term, the Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion will host and lead, with key campus partners, a series of educational sessions on equitable and anti-racist leadership for all senior administrators.


  • Initiated in Summer 2021, the JEDII STEM Series builds the capacity and community of faculty, staff, postdoc scholars and grad students who lead and support justice, equity, decolonization, indigenization and inclusion initiatives in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. This series was developed to more efficiently enhance capacity across departments and to reduce the silos across departments who are being tasked to engage in Justice, Equity, Decolonization, Indigenization and Inclusion initiatives across different units. Over three cycles (Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Summer 2022), 682 unique registrants across 18 Faculties participated in 22 sessions with 61 guest speakers.


  • Cultivated more inclusive spaces towards retention and wellbeing of equity-deserving groups (e.g., the EIO co-organized a speaker series titled "Where are all the Black People? Underrepresentation in the Academy", which foregrounded Black voices in fields where Blackness is particularly underrepresented and provided actionable and measurable strategies to UBC to increase Black representation and Black excellence in these fields).


The StEAR Framework builds on the following scholarship:

  1. Creary, S.J. (2008). Leadership, governance, and accountability: A pathway to a diverse and inclusive organization. New York, NY: Conference Board of Canada.
  2. Hurtado, S., Milem, J.F., Clayton-Pedersen, A.R., and Allen, W.R. (1998). Enhancing campus climates for racial/ethnic diversity through educational policy and practice. Review of Higher Education 21 (3): 279-302.
  3. Hurtado, S., Milem, J.F., Clayton-Pedersen, A.R., and Allen, W.R. (1999). Enacting diverse learning environments: Improving the campus climate for racial/ethnic diversity in higher education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports Series 26 (8). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  4. Milem, J. F., Dey, E.L., and White, C.B. (2004). Diversity considerations in health professions education. In In the nation’s compelling interest: Ensuring diversity in the health care workforce, ed. B. D. Smedley, A. S. Butler, and L. R. Bristow, 345-90. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  5. Milem, J.F., Chang, M.J. and Antonio, A.L. (2005). Making diversity work on campus: A research-based perspective. Washington, DC: Association American Colleges and Universities
  6. Smith, D.G. (2015). Diversity’s promise for higher education: Making it work, 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.