Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism Framework

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Endorsed by UBC’s leadership, the Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism (StEAR) Framework guides the university’s approach to implementation of equity and anti-racism priorities and evaluation of progress.


Introduced in 2023 by the Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion (AVPEI), the StEAR Framework is a community-engaged, data-informed, action-oriented and accountability-driven planning tool developed to guide the implementation of equity and anti-racism priorities and the cyclical evaluation of progress over the next three to five years.

The framework is built around four broad institutional domains of change – structural, curricular, compositional and interactional – and six principles of practice. Using the framework, the Equity & Inclusion Office (EIO) reviewed UBC’s existing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)-related plans and reports to identify salient objectives and strategic actions that constitute the StEAR Roadmap for Change.

A StEAR governance model provides an accountability structure and establishes lines of communication, consultation, and engagement with Equity Leads, EDI champions, and HPSM community groups.

Additionally, efforts will be made to build the competencies and capacities of leaders to act as change agents, to develop reporting and accountability mechanisms, and to establish quantitative and qualitative measures and methods to track progress.

Associated EDI-related plans and reports

In support of the inclusion theme in Shaping UBC’s Next Century: UBC’s Strategic Plan, the university has committed to addressing the priorities articulated in the following plans and reports:

The StEAR framework guides UBC’s systematic implementation of these equity and anti-racism priorities and the cyclical evaluation of progress over the next three to five years. 

Relationship with the Indigenous Strategic Plan

The Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) Guiding Network is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the ISP, which “provides thoughtful guidance for action and a framework for reconciliation”. The StEAR framework is meant to complement, not compete with, the ISP, which is the university’s organizing framework to advance priorities related to Indigenous rights, decolonization, and reconciliation.

In collaboration with Indigenous leads, mutually beneficial mechanisms for communication, consultation, collaboration, and coalition-building across the StEAR and ISP frameworks will be in place to ensure that equity and anti-racism priorities relevant to Indigenous students, faculty, and staff are appropriately addressed and/or referred to in the StEAR framework.

Domains of change and goals

Structural 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.

Curricular change: 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.

Compositional change: to expand the representational diversity of the student body, professoriate, staff complement, and senior leadership and enhance lifecycle experiences of historically, persistently and systemically marginalized (HPSM) groups through equitable and anti-racist recruitment, development, and retention policies and practice.

Interactional change: 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 anti-racism training, education, and dialogue.

Guiding principles

1. Recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and respect for self-determination: implementing equity and anti-racism plans in a manner that complements and elevates, but does not subsume, Indigenous-led plans;

2. Race-consciousness in the pursuit of equity and inclusive excellence: centering anti-racism in an intersectional anti-oppressive framework to address deeply imbedded institutional racism and systemic inequities;

3. Meaningful and ethical community engagement: ensuring ongoing consultation with, transparent communication to, and meaningful recognition of contributions of historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized groups;

4. Networked leadership and coordinated de-centralization: cultivating a collaborative network of cross-campus equity champions working in communities of practice to advance unit-level and university priorities;

5. Accountability through collective responsibility and leadership ownership: demonstrating senior-level endorsement of and investment in strategic initiatives to mobilize and sustain campus-wide ownership and action towards systems change;

6. Data-informed decision-making and continuous improvement: undertaking assessment, evaluation, and research and leveraging qualitative and quantitative data to inform cyclical strategic planning processes.

Roadmap for change: Objectives and strategic actions

The StEAR Roadmap for Change sets out 18 salient objectives and numerous strategic actions as part of the StEAR framework, to be implemented over the next three to five years.

As a living document, the roadmap will be updated to reflect new plans and reports as well as signal progress on strategic actions. Implementation sponsors, leads, and partners have been identified for each strategic action, and will be included in subsequent versions of the roadmap.

Explore the objectives and strategic actions for each of the domains of change below or review it as a PDF.

Governance model

To support the implementation of the roadmap, a governance model provides an accountability structure: Implementation Teams to drive efforts, a StEAR Roadmap Implementation Committee comprising the leads of Implementation Teams; the committee reports to the Executive Liaison Team comprising Executive Sponsors.

The model also establishes lines of communication for consultation and engagement of Equity Leads, EDI champions and campus community groups representing historically, persistently or systemically marginalized (HPSM) students, faculty and staff.

Implementation accountabilities

This section details the accountabilities for the implementation of the roadmap.

The Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion and the EIO

The Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion (AVPEI) and the EIO team will be responsible for centrally leading the planning and evaluation of the roadmap implementation.

The AVPEI will chair a StEAR Roadmap Implementation Committee that will provide a forum for Implementation Team leads to share progress on strategic actions, which will be reported to the Executive Liaison Team and the campus community.

The AVPEI and the EIO team will also be responsible for establishing and coordinating networks with HPSM students, faculty and staff and communities of practice with Faculty and portfolio Equity Leads as well as unit champions and facilitating lines of communication, consultation and collaboration through implementation.

UBC Executive (Senior-level sponsors)

The UBC Executive will be responsible for clearly articulating commitments to deploying the StEAR framework, including the roadmap, imbedding principles and practices in executive portfolio strategies, and investing appropriate human and financial resources to support and sustain pan-institutional implementation.

StEAR Executive Liaison Team

The StEAR Executive Liaison Team includes the AVPEI, the UBCV and UBCO Provosts & Vice Presidents, Academic, the Vice-President, Students, the Vice-President, Human Resources, the UBCO Associate Provost, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-racism (IDEA) and the Executive Director and Project Manager from the Office of the President. The committee meets monthly to review progress on implementation, to elevate information to the Executive, and to recommend executive level actions and communications to support campus-wide mobilization of efforts.

Senior leadership (Key campus partners)

Senior academic and administrative leaders will be responsible for directing human and financial resources to support implementation, including developing the cadre of Faculty and portfolio Equity Leads and building capacity for Faculty and portfolio-level systems change.

Implementation Teams

StEAR Implementation Teams will be established where mobilizing objectives requires cross-unit/campus partnership and deployment of EIO project managers. Leads and team members will be identified on the basis of positional responsibilities and subject matter expertise. Each team will develop a project plan and will be supported by an EIO assigned project manager.

Lines of communication for community consultation and engagement

This section defines mechanisms for communication, consultation and engagement with Equity Leads, EDI champions and HPSM community groups.

Faculty and portfolio Equity Leads (Distributed equity champions)

Faculty and portfolio Equity Leads are designated by their Dean or VP to participate in an EIO-facilitated equity and anti-racism community of practice and to mobilize and support initiatives at the faculty/portfolio level.

Departmental-level EDI Action Network

The EDI Action Network is a community of practice established for department-level EDI champions (for example, typically faculty and staff who chair or participate on unit EDI committees). EIO team members will facilitate regular meetings with the EDI Action Network.

Historically, persistently or systemically marginalized (HPSM) groups

The StEAR Framework explicitly draws from, and brings together, the incredible work done by various historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized communities through the plans and reports they have produced, and these perspectives were integral to its development.

The EIO is taking an inventory of affinity and advocacy groups on campus and establishing processes for building relationships and enhancing communication. Mechanisms will be introduced to ensure intentional and regular consultation and engagement of HPSM groups throughout the StEAR framework implementation.

Get engaged

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Activating Inclusion Toolkit

Create change at UBC with an evolving library of tools, guides and resources that support inclusion planning and implementation.

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StEAR Enhancement Fund

Have an idea for an initiative to build a more inclusive UBC? Apply to the StEAR Enhancement Fund.

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Aligning UBC’s EDI commitments to develop the StEAR roadmap

Track how the recommendations from UBC’s EDI-related plans and reports were integrated into the StEAR Roadmap for Change.

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