University of Toronto's
Graduate Student Union's
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 2020-21 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.
Hello everyone! My name is Danica, and I am an MSc candidate in the Department of Molecular Genetics. I was born into and grew up in a family of refugees from Iran. Living in the diaspora, I always searched for community involvement in grassroots and academic spaces. At the University of Toronto, I found that community at REC and have been an executive member since 2018. I am very excited and honoured to be the President for the 2020-21 academic year. Outside of these interests, I love swimming, karaoke, and doing arts and crafts.
My name is Kristine and I’m in the second year of my Master’s of Science in Medical Biophysics! I am Anishinaabe and Latvian, and am excited to once again be a part of the REC executive team. I am interested in the topics of race and radicalization through my lived experiences as a person of mixed Indigenous ancestry. My research uses electron cryomicroscopy to determine protein structure and function. In my spare time, I like beading, biking, playing guitar, and cooking!
Silvia Vong (she/her)
Director, Internal Operations
I’m a second year Ph.D. student in OISE’s Higher Education program. My research interest focuses on how people who identify as racialized women engage with resistance to oppressive organizational practices in universities from a critical race lens.
The best way to get to know me is by understanding my rootedness. I am an Afro-Jamaican woman, born and raised in the colonial state of Canada; thus, it is critical that I acknowledge the land. Peoples of African descent were forcibly brought to Canada as enslaved subjects to provide slave work for peoples living here. As such, my coalition politics prioritizes African and Turtle Island indigenous solidarities and relations due to our interrelated histories. These politics have been centered in the work and research I hope to carry out as a PhD candidate in the Educational Leadership Policy program. Oh, and I love the Office and Dancehall music.
I am doing my Master of Science in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, studying cancer immunotherapy. Through my studies and personal experience of moving to Canada, I became interested in the topics of race and ethnicity, and how they influence our experiences in healthcare and other areas of life. I am excited to learn from and connect with the amazing REC community. Outside of academics, I enjoy arts, films, and reading.
Mariam Karim is currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. She holds an undergraduate degree in Visual Culture & Communications from the University of Toronto as well as an M.A. in Cultural Studies & Critical Theory from McMaster University. Her work centers on Arab women's movements and anti-colonial struggle from West Asia and North Africa.
Mai-Lan Johnston (she/her)
Co-Director, Advocacy and Development
Hey everyone! I’m doing my Master of Public Health in Health Promotion (class of 2022). I hope to further specialize in topics related to Women’s and Indigenous Health. I’m interested in how race impacts health outcomes, and how race interacts with other social determinants of health, including socioeconomic status, gender, and politics. I’m passionate about social justice and equity advocacy more broadly, too. When I’m not nerd-ing out about public health, I’m either listening to podcasts, working out, hanging out with animals, reading, or planning my post-pandemic trip to the Rockies!
Joe Fulton (he/him)
Co-Director, Advocacy and Development
My name is Joe Fulton. I am the co-director of Advocacy and Development in REC. I am a proud alumni of Howard University in Washington D.C., which is a Historically Black College and University. My interest in social justice and political advocacy started while receiving my undergraduate degree in political science. Currently, I am a first-year IHPME master's student in Health Services Research with an emphasis in Organization and Management. After recognizing the many health inequities facing racialized communities, I decided to dedicate myself and research to shedding light on the inequities they face on a daily basis in the hopes of creating meaningful change. My research focus is on the experiences of Black stroke survivors living with disability in post-stroke care.
Director, Events and Accessibility
Hello! I am a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE. My doctoral research engages single stories produced by and within the institution of police, revealing, through story, beautiful possibilities for how we might understand deafness, disability, race, and policing differently. How I perceive everyday life, including how I understand my experience of race and racialization, is continuously influenced by teachings abound in disability studies, phenomenology, Black and Indigenous philosophical traditions, and alternative sociology. Keeping me energized (and rested!) are various hobbies such as exercising, watching Korean television, writing poetry, and socializing with my cat.
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO'S GRADUATE STUDENT UNION
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.
CONTACT THE UTGSU
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with general inquiries. For Health and Dental Insurance inquiries, members can email email@example.com 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
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.
A peer-facilitated discussion where racialized graduate students and allies can discuss topics regarding their experiences of race and other forms of difference.
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!
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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