Image by Tim Mossholder

University of Toronto's

Graduate Student Union's

Race &




Our activities include regular meetings, social events, reading groups, community dinners, panels, and much more. Dedicated to disability justice, we work hard to ensure our events are open to all. For more details, check our Events page and follow our socials! 



Who are we?

We at the Race and Ethnicity Caucus (REC) are committed to social justice, community building, and healing for self-identified racialized and/or graduate students of colour at the intersections of gender, disability, age, class, religion, and sexuality at the University of Toronto.

In what ways are we committed to social justice?

REC is committed to advocacy, scholarship, and activism. We aim to be a safe space for women, trans people, non-binary gender/gender non-conforming individuals, and mad, sick and disabled people.  We are particularly interested in forming networks amongst racialized graduate students across the university in order to provide information, support, and resources.

How do I get involved?


Meet our 2022-2023 executive team

Our dream-team of passionate graduate students combine their educational backgrounds, advocacy expertise, and varied experiences with racialization on and off campus to REC's central commitment to community-building.

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Ph.D. Student in Education

Shelly Khushal is a second year PhD student in Educational, Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Her research interests include human rights, anti-racism education, equity, inclusivity, diversity, and justice and her focus in on education through disrupting Euro-centric Western paradigms and epistemologies. Shelly’s research focuses on human rights principles as an alternative to current leadership frameworks, placing the onus on school and system leaders in bringing about radical and transformative change. Shelly has presented her research at various academic conferences, including the University of Toronto’s Centre for Leadership and Diversity Conference, OISE’s Graduate Student’s Research Conference and York University’s Graduate Student Conference in Education.


Graduate Student

We are currently recruiting for Vice-Chair and Director of Finance!

Apply here:


Director of Events & Accessibility
Ph.D. Candidate in Education

I am Shamina, a PhD candidate in the Developmental Psychology and Education program (DPE). My research focuses on ‘Educating for wisdom’. I completed  MEd in Educational Psychology from Queen’s University in 2020. I also received BA degree in English Literature and MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. I had worked as an adult ESL teacher in Toronto and Bangladesh for more than a decade. I have two beautiful boys. In free time, I enjoy reading, watching movies and cooking.

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Karen Fang


Co-Director of Communications
MSc Student in Pathobiology

Karen Fang is a MSc student in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on developing immunotherapy for leukemia and lymphoma. Through her studies and personal experience of moving to Canada, she became interested in how identities, including race and ethnicity, influence people's experiences in healthcare and other areas of life. She is excited to learn from and connect with the amazing REC community. Outside of academics, she enjoys arts, films, and reading.


Nooshin Abdollahi


Co-Director of Communications
Ph.D. Candidate in Neurosciences

My name is Nooshin, and I am currently a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the department of biomedical engineering. My research is focused on neuroscience. In general, I am interested in studying the properties of axons in the nervous system. Outside of school, I enjoy painting, playing chess, and traveling. I'm so excited to be part of REC. 


Indira Quintasi Orosco (she/her)

Director of Advocacy & Development
Ph.D. Student in Educational Leadership and Policy

Indira Quintasi Orosco is a Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. She completed her Master of Education with two specializations: Comparative international & development education / Educational Policy at OISE. Indira works as a researcher on a project that examines the Colombian government's responses to Venezuelan migration in the school system funded by SSHRC. Her work and research interests include educational systems, governance, teacher professional development, program evaluation, migration, inclusion, rurality, Indigenous language and cultural revitalization, and gender. Indira has a series of professional experiences in programs and projects related to Civil Service and Educational Reforms in Peru and experiential learning and student experiences in Canada. Outside the university, she works as a researcher and program evaluator at Jamii, a community art centre based in Toronto. Indira enjoys outdoor activities, arts, traveling and nature.

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Sev Arslan


Director of Internal Operations
PhD Candidate in Education

Sev Arslan is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her doctoral dissertation, in consultation with Prof. George Dei, examines how the colonial race logic operates in schools and how Kurdish teachers and students support or resist race logic. Her broad research interests are in the areas of anti-racism education, anti-colonial thought as well decolonial, social justice, and resistant pedagogies. Sev’s publications and contributions reflect her persistent examination of race and racism where she re-centres the knowledge, histories and practices that are negated and devalued by dominant discourse and discursive practices. By recentering, she challenges not only the ways in which certain bodies are defined and shaped by dominant ideologies, she also challenges, resist, and transform the continual subordination of lived experiences of racialized people. Sev Arslan presently works as a Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor at one of Toronto's community services.



The UTGSU is a voice for over 18,500 students as well as a platform for community building and services. The UTGSU is a democratically-run non-profit organization, formed in 1964 and incorporated in 1999. All University of Toronto graduate students who pay the UTGSU fee are UTGSU Members. As a Member, you have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process of the corporation at the Annual Meeting and at the General Council through Course Union Representation or UTGSU Committee participation. 


The UTGSU Offices have been closed since March 16, 2020 due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Staff and Executives will be working remotely so members can email  with general inquiries. For Health and Dental Insurance inquiries, members can email with any health and dental insurance plan questions during regular office hours. All staff and Executives are available by email during regular office hours. 


16 Bancroft Avenue,

Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1C1

(416) 978-2391

"Where are you from?"

A panel seeking to open dialogue focusing on the impact of the question, "Where are you from?," on communities who experience racialization in various ways.

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Safe Space for Race

A peer-facilitated discussion where racialized graduate students and allies can discuss topics regarding their experiences of race and other forms of difference.

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REC Reads!

A critical-reading book club where we read and discuss books that teach us more about the complexity of race. Books are chosen by REC execs and members-at-large!

Race to Academia

REC's podcast, hosted by Mai-Lan and Joe, where conversations are had about race and race-related issues (particularly in academia).

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