August 14, 2022

Black Canadian college students at UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses can entry a wide range of one-time and revolving awards of as much as $80,000.

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To mark the beginning of Black Historical past Month, the College of British Columbia is celebrating the launch of a brand new program that gives scholarships to black Canadian college students.

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By the Past Tomorrow Students Program, college students can entry a wide range of one-time and revolving awards of as much as $80,000, in addition to different assist packages that assist construct neighborhood on UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

This system began in autumn with the primary group of 13 college students. Section 1 of this system goals to assist greater than 100 college students over the following 4 years, with the potential for additional development relying on funding, based on UBC.

Some of the recipients of UBC Beyond Tomorrow.  Beyond Tomorrow is UBC's program to help black Canadian students.  Left to right: Shemmy Abiola, Sibes Bonner, Chol John Akech and Lena Hart.
Among the recipients of UBC Past Tomorrow. Past Tomorrow is UBC’s program to assist black Canadian college students. Left to proper: Shemmy Abiola, Sibes Bonner, Chol John Akech and Lena Hart. Picture from UBC handout /PNG

Roen Buajram, deputy director of strategic initiatives for IBPOC (Indigenous, Black and Coloured) at UBC, which coordinates this system, stated the success of this system is dependent upon funding.

“We won’t do it ourselves. Black college students don’t change into leaders with out the assist of the neighborhood, so we encourage everybody who’s thinking about taking part on this program to take action and be a part of this profitable initiative,” she stated in an interview.

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Buajram stated this system may have a long-term impression on addressing systemic inequality and racism.

“One of many obstacles we all know for positive in accessing post-secondary faculty is monetary. A few of our scientists stated they want to go to college, however the price itself was a major deterrent,” Buajram stated.

“The monetary barrier is a type of systemic inequality and entry, after which it turns into a part of the bigger systemic drawback of racism.”

Grants could also be one-time or renewed annually relying on the wants of the making use of pupil.

“This program has made me a lot extra assured,” stated Nejat Alhussan, a freshman on the College of British Columbia at Okanagan and recipient of the Past Tomorrow Students Award.

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At UBC, Alhussan is learning molecular biology and plans to attend medical faculty. This system has given her pals and contacts to show to for recommendation and assist.

“In truth, I haven’t seen many black medical doctors, particularly black feminine medical doctors – it’s such a small share, and with such illustration, it’s onerous to think about your self in such a place,” Alhussan stated.

“However taking part on this program has made me extra assured, and now I see that I’m reaching this aim.”

Alhussan stated the monetary assist enormously decreased her stress about shifting from Toronto to British Columbia to attend college, and she or he discovered probably the most assist within the cohort.

“It is a very inclusive surroundings and really supportive,” Alhussan stated, including that those that run this system assist not solely with tutorial objectives, but in addition with private well-being, neighborhood, and management objectives.

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UBC encourages Canadian college students who determine as black to use for a grant. College students can discover extra data on the Past Tomorrow Students UBC internet web page.

College students making use of to this system should self-identify as black, be a Canadian citizen, and switch from a highschool or different establishment of upper schooling. They have to even be sturdy college students who meet UBC entry necessities and show monetary want.

In the meantime on Tuesday, Prime Minister John Horgan, Rahna Singh, Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, and Training Secretary Jennifer Whiteside issued a joint assertion in celebration of Black Historical past Month.

Politicians have stated that there are a lot of examples of distinguished black residents in British Columbia, together with William Allen Jones, the primary dentist in British Columbia to be licensed below the British Columbia Dentists Act in 1886, and Eleanor Collins, Canada’s first jazz girl, performed a major function. function within the improvement of the music trade in British Columbia.

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“Regardless of this essential contribution, members of black communities all too usually face the identical discrimination and racism right here in British Columbia that they’ve tried to flee,” the assertion stated.

“From the destruction of Vancouver’s Hogan Lane in 1972 to the continued systemic racism in authorities packages and companies, black British Columbians proceed to face unfair obstacles of their each day lives.”

They pledged higher assist for black British Columbians, together with continued assist for the instructing of black historical past matters in colleges.

Final yr, the province proclaimed Aug. 1 as Liberation Day in British Columbia

ticrawford@postmedia.com


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