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Introduction to Anti-Racism

This introductory course is designed to be interactive and support students, staff, and faculty members to enhance the development of their understanding of anti-racism in creating meaningful change within one’s spheres of influence and assuming accountability for racial justice. Participants will gain a deep understanding of concepts related to racism and antiracism to counter the mainstream narratives that propagate and legitimize systems of oppression. Participants will learn how systemic racism shapes experiences in interpersonal and institutional contexts and how to implement anti-racist practices in daily life and the workplace. 

The course will address intersectionality as an analytical tool to understand how anti-racist actions can be integrated into decision-making to reduce systemic racism and advance equitable interventions recognizing that one size does not fit all.

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Knowledge Level

Beginner, no background required

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2 hours - break included

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Open to campus community: students, senior/executive leaders, faculty, and staff

Learning Objectives


  • Enhance your knowledge of the historical roots of systemic racism and its pervasive impacts in Canada.
  • Explore main concepts related to understanding systemic racism and anti-racism.
  • What is Racism – its ideologies and practices
  • Forms of Racism – institutional, economic, social, symbolic, and cultural racism

New learnings

  • Identify and unlearn racist nuances subtly operating in interpersonal and structural relations.
  • Become familiar with tools and knowledge to develop your anti-racist identity.
  • Implications and impacts of racism
  • Racial discrimination and its manifestations
  • Actions necessary to counteract individual, institutional, and systemic racism


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Dr. Ghada Sfeir (she/her/elle)

Dr. Ghada Sfeir is the Senior Advisor for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity at the University of Calgary's Office of EDI. With a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies, her work centers on Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism, and Social Justice. She advocates for EDI principles, decolonization, and anti-racism to dismantle systemic barriers faced by marginalized groups. Previously at Concordia University, she taught from a social justice perspective and co-edited a special issue promoting cosmopolitan pathways for diversity in Canada.

Read Ghada's Full Bio Here

Course Prerequisites

Please review the course material below so that you can learn the most from the workshop. Reviewing this material in advance will allow you to engage in meaningful discussions, ask informed questions, and fully participate.


Reading - Systemic Racism in Alberta (5 min)



Video Viewing - Call It Out: Racism, Racial Discrimination and Human Rights (30 min)​


It’s our collective responsibility to create a more equitable and inclusive UCaglary and we all have an important role to play by learning and unlearning.

Dr. Malinda S. Smith, PhD, Vice Provost (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) and Associate Vice-President Research (EDI)

Dr. Malinda S. Smith, PhD

Vice Provost (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) and Associate Vice-President Research (EDI)