KPU appoints anti-racism lead as Vice-President, Equity and Inclusive Communities

Wed, Apr 10, 2024

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has appointed Dr. Asma Sayed as its Vice-President, Equity and Inclusive Communities. 

Dr. Sayed had been serving as the interim vice-president for the portfolio and led the university’s Task Force on Anti-Racism from July 2020 to October 2022. She is also a Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies and will continue her research in her new role.

“I am excited to carry forward all the good work that has been ongoing at KPU,” says Dr. Sayed. “My priorities will be to set up support systems and resources for us to move forward with our anti-racism and equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility portfolios. I am looking forward to collaborating and consulting across the institution as we build a strong community of people committed to justice.”

The Office of Equity and Inclusive Communities houses portfolios dedicated to anti-racism, and gender and sexual equity. It has responsibility for the university’s Accessibility Plan and its Accessibility Committee, social sustainability, and the President’s Diversity and Equity Committee. The office oversees development and implementation for the university’s equity, diversity and inclusion action plan and implementation of the recommendations of KPU’s Task Force on Anti-Racism.

Dr. Sayed received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta. She worked in Alberta and internationally, prior to joining the English department in the Faculty of Arts at KPU in 2017 as a scholar of postcolonial studies. Her interdisciplinary research explores the intersections of racialized and gender-based violence in literature, film, and media.

Dr. Sayed has served as an adviser on various boards and NGOs. As the President of the Canadian Association for Postcolonial Studies (formerly CACLALS) from 2019-22, she led multiple initiatives focused on social justice. She was inducted as a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists in 2020. She received KPU’s Distinguished Scholarship Award for 2022 and the university's Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award for 2023.

“Through her leadership of the Task Force on Anti-Racism, her research, and her broader work inside and outside KPU, Dr. Sayed has modelled the values of care, compassion, humility and equity that we prize so highly,” says Dr. Alan Davis, KPU President and Vice-Chancellor.