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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 2021-2022 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.


Mai-Lan Johnston (she/her)


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)


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.


Mariam Karim

Director, Finance

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.

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Karen Fang

Director, Communications

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.


Sequoia Richards

Director, Events and Accessibility

Sequoia is a current MEd candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her educational interest lies in helping youth and young adults access post-secondary education within Canada. Outside of school, she enjoys music, playing tennis, watching movies and trying new foods.


Christine Kwong

Director, Advocacy & Development

I identify as East Asian and am a first-generation Ph.D. Candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education.   My research focuses on the relationship between physical activity and mental well-being in students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  My goal is to further understand factors related to resilience and mental-wellbeing in marginalized populations. I am thrilled to be part of REC.  



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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