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Anti-Racism Symposium

Inaugural Anti-Racism Symposium

March 21, 2023
8:30am – 12:30pm
Conference Centre, KPU Surrey

Coffee/tea served at 8:00am. Refreshments will be provided.

KPU's Office of Anti-Racism will host its first symposium on anti-racism on March 21, 2023, to align with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The symposium will feature a talk by keynote speaker, Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty, Director of the Centre for Peace Studies and the Global Peace and Social Justice Program at MacMaster University, and a panel of presentations by KPU's students and employees.

For queries, please email the Office of Anti-Racism at

Please register to help us with event planning and catering

Contagious Minorities: Asian Canadians, COVID-19, and Racism


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all our lives. However, the risks and the effects of the pandemic were distributed unevenly. Placing the rise in anti-Asian racism during the pandemic in the long historical trajectory of institutional racism in Canada points to the need to learn about the historical legacies of racism. This, I argue, can enable us to intervene in structural racism so that Canada's promise of multiculturalism can be grounded in justice and equity.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty is Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University. She held the honorary title of University Scholar at McMaster University (2017-21). She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2019. Her research examines the intersections of nationalist history and public memory, race and nation-making in Canada, and the politics of memorialization in South Asia and Canada. Her publications include, Masculinity, Asceticism, Hinduism: Past and Present Imaginings of India (2011), Mapping South Asian Masculinities: Men and Political Crises (2015), Remembering Air India: The Art of Public Mourning (co-edited 2017), and numerous essays in academic journals.

Dr. Chakraborty's current research projects are focused on examining racial violence and racial grief in Canada. The first project involves creating an archival collection of the 1985 Air India bombings and its aftermath (supported by a SSHRC research grant). Two other projects (supported by internal grants at McMaster University and the Wilson Foundation) are studying the differential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Asian, East Asian, and Black communities in Ontario. She is one of the research leads for Canada's Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats, a new initiative at McMaster. For her COVID-19 research projects, she is working in partnership with researchers in Health Sciences and with advocacy groups such as the South Asian Covid Taskforce, Black Scientist's Table, Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Taskforce and others, with the aim to engage marginalized populations and integrate their perspectives and lived experiences into future strategies to foster collective public health responses. A co-edited book titled, Yellow Peril Scrutinized: Anti-Asian Racism during the COVID-19 Pandemic is under review with University of British Columbia Press.