EDI in TAing: Building inclusive learning environments in Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines


As a resource that supports both students and instructors, Teaching Assistants (TAs) are well-positioned to help build learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and respectful. Join Rachael E. Sullivan, Equity Education Strategist from the Equity & Inclusion Office, to learn about power dynamics within the classroom, the policies and guidelines that frame the work of TAs, and how to best support students while navigating ethical dilemmas and potential conflicts.

This workshop is foundational to fostering an inclusive learning environment and will serve to enhance department-specific TA training.

Note: Departments and/or TA coordinators who would like to use this as a component for their TA training, please email Rachael.Sullivan@ubc.ca to learn how you can receive confirmation of the TAs who attended from your department, program, or school at UBC.


Rachael E. Sullivan, PhD, is a passionate educator in the areas of gender and sexual diversity, active bystander interventions, and equity, diversity and inclusion in the research process. While earning her doctorate from the Sociology Department at UBC, she won the prestigious Killiam Graduate Teaching Award (2008). She went on to teach from 2012-2016 in the UBC Sociology Department. She joined the Equity & Inclusion Office in 2014, and has since been involved in the Positive Space campaign, co-developing various workshops that promote equitable and inclusive approaches to teaching, learning, working and living at UBC.

What to expect

In this workshop, TAs can expect to:

  • Learn about the Respectful Environment Statement and different UBC policies (SC7: Discrimination; SC3: Conflict of Interest; SC 17: Sexual Misconduct) that support TAs in their work
  • Identify and articulate the power dynamics embedded in the TA role and the boundaries and limits that support their work with instructors and students
  • Describe how biases and microaggressions can negatively impact the classroom climate
  • Differentiate between survival responses (including associated behaviours) to effectively intervene and support students from historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized groups

Who can join

The EDI in TAing workshops are open to:

  • New and returning TAs at UBC Vancouver
  • TA Coordinators from all disciplinary programs
  • Faculty or staff members supporting TA training in a specific department, school or faculty

Please join the workshop that best fits your academic discipline and schedule.


We are committed to providing a welcoming, accessible experience. If you require an accessibility-related measure (e.g. captioning, sign language interpreter), please indicate in the registration form or contact the program lead below.

Program Lead

Rachael E. Sullivan, PhD
Equity Education Strategist
Equity & Inclusion Office