Skip to main content

Uplift, Leverage and Empower: A Safe Space for IBPOC Practitioners In International Education

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

This workshop aims to create a safe and supportive space for international education (IE) practitioners who identify as Indigenous, Black or People of Colour (IBPOC). Highlighting the voices and lived experiences of being IBPOC professionals within IE, this session will deepen participants’ understanding of foundational concepts related to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), identifying and responding to bias and microaggressions as well as empowering individuals to strategically navigate workspaces where their perspectives, identity and contributions continue to be valued and celebrated. Complimentary interactive activities, dialogue formats and practical strategies will allow participants to leave the session with greater self-awareness and connection to the community within IE.

Note: This session is intended for IBPOC individuals only. In creating this space, CBIE and the facilitators recognize that identity is complex, and everyone will come to this space with different lived experiences and terms that reflect identity. Registering and attending the session is based on each individual’s self-identification. We welcome those who feel they belong in this space in connection to IBPOC identities.

By the end of this workshop, participants should expect to:

  • Describe foundational concepts related to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and connect these concepts to lived experience.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how to situate and ground oneself when faced with biases and microaggressions.
  • Apply strategies to influence workspaces, teams and the students they care for by bringing diverse perspectives and nuanced understandings as an IBPOC professional/practitioner.


Rohene Bouajram, Associate Director of Strategic Indigenous, Black and Persons of Colour (IBPOC) Initiatives, University of British Columbia

Rohene Bouajram is an uninvited settler from Zimbabwe, and her experience of upheaving everything she knew to be true, safe and in alignment leads her to embody these values in everything she becomes involved in. With over 19 years of experience in higher education, Rohene is a purpose-driven educator, leader and sought-after expert on Canadian immigration legislation, transformational systemic change and strategic program development and partnerships. Rohene is currently the Associate Director of Strategic Indigenous, Black and Persons of Colour (IBPOC) Initiatives at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, where she leads the advancement of equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization and anti-racism in policies, initiatives and programming for IBPOC students. She has studied in Zimbabwe, Canada, Finland and China, holds an MA in International and Intercultural Communication, a BA in Psychology and is certified as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). She enjoys being of service to many communities – from designing curriculum on Canadian immigration legislation and international education, serving on executive boards of the UBC Black Caucus, Society of Intercultural Training and Research (SIETAR) BC Chapter and Queen’s National Advisory Committee to lending her expertise to task forces, national and provincial working groups, speaking at national and international conferences and writing publications to raise awareness of complex issues affecting individuals from marginalized and underrepresented groups. When she isn’t lost in a book, you can find her on the sidelines of a soccer field cheering her son on.

Teresa Brooks, Associate Director of International Student Services, Langara College

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Teresa Brooks 黃德蘭 is a first-generation immigrant who witnessed the challenges her parents faced and has herself experienced racism and othering while growing up. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, this would fuel her passion for instilling equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) throughout her work. Currently, Teresa is the Associate Director, International Student Services at Langara College. With over 20 years’ experience in International Education, her work focuses on international student support, transition and engagement. More recently, Teresa served on Langara’s Internationalization Strategy Development working group and now serves on the Working Committee for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Principles. Teresa’s professional EDI journey began in 2014 when she heard Elder Bob Joseph speak. This was a pivotal mind-opening moment and since then, she has never stopped Indigenous, intercultural and EDI learning. Teresa has an MEd in Counselling Psychology and Certificate in Anti-Racism Awareness from the University of BC, Certificates in D&I and Anti-Racism Education from CCDI and is an IDI Qualified Administrator. She is passionate about continuous learning to unlearn oppressive attitudes and relearn strategies to engage within inequitable systems and empowering other persons of colour to do the same.