UBC today is an international and diverse institution. Much has changed over the last 100 years, and It’s About Time: UBC a Place of Change explores 100 years of UBC’s changing demographics, social attitudes, and perspectives on diversity and inclusion. Canadian society has changed dramatically over the years and UBC often reflected the values held by society at the time.

Each initiative in It’s About Time: UBC a Place of Change Centennial Series will shine a spotlight on an aspect of the hidden histories of UBC alumni and units, and illuminate how people at UBC changed Canadian society by challenging racism, discrimination and other forms of social injustice. Several UBC units have teamed up to produce this multi-streamed series including: Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies, Asian Canadian Community Engagement, Asia Pacific Regional Office, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, Equity and Inclusion office, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, St. John’s College, and University Archives.

Read below for information on the It’s About Time projects.

Where Are We in the World?

This film series aims to answer the question of “where we are” in terms of UBC and Vancouver on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. At the core of this film series, viewers are invited to (re)engage with sites around the Lower Mainland shaped by often ignored or hidden histories of struggle and agency through the stories of local community members, elders, educators, activists, and historians.

The first two short documentaries feature an array of perspectives that introduce us to Vancouver’s Chinatown and the Komagata Maru incident of 1914. These stories provide us all an opportunity to critically reflect on themes of place, historical consciousness, and reciprocity. The next film in the series will explore UBC’s location UBC’s location on the unceded territory of the Musqueam people and the arrival of UBC to Point Grey.

Watch the films on UBC’s Youtube channel

UBC as a Place of Diverse Minds

To celebrate UBC’s upcoming centennial year the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies program is looking back on the university’s past 100 years to uncover the relatively unknown history of its Asian Canadian communities. UBC as a Place of Diverse Minds is a research project that seeks to discover the names and stories of the first graduates from the university’s various Asian Canadian communities, focusing particularly on the pre-war years (1915-1942). What was UBC like for an Asian student before 1942? What kinds of campus clubs and activities did students of Asian heritage participate in? These questions will be answered through stories from UBC’s first graduates of different Asian communities. The stories will help UBC and the broader community to gain a deeper connection to the university’s history and reflect on how UBC has changed dramatically in the last 100 years.

Explore UBC as a Place of Diverse Minds

Crosscurrents – UBC as Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway

Over the last one hundred years, the continuous flow of migrants both east and west has connected Asia and Canada, transforming education, culture and economic development in both societies. UBC’s Vancouver campus has been a focal point of Canada’s engagement with the Asia Pacific world. As we reflect upon UBC as a place of change, Crosscurrents – UBC as Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway captures three stories that spotlight UBC’s connections to the Asia Pacific: “Bob Lee’s UBC” captures the story of Robert H. Lee and the long history of connections between Hong Kong and UBC; “St. John’s College: Light & Truth” tells the story of the alumni of St. John’s University Shanghai, the founders of St. John’s College UBC; “Working Across the Pacific” highlights the story of UBC graduates working in Hong Kong.

Explore Crosscurrents – UBC as Canada’s Asia Pacific Gateway

Drivers of Diversity

This series commemorates the individuals and groups on campus that helped to make UBC a leading force in diversity, inclusion, and intercultural understanding. The series aims to capture the often untold stories of human rights and labour struggles by UBC students, staff, alumni, and faculty that drove UBC to become one of the leaders in equity and inclusion in British Columbia today. Drivers of Diversity will focus on three main storytelling avenues: “Student Stories of Struggle and Success at UBC”, “Staff and Workers Unite making UBC an Inclusive Workplace”, and “Faculty as Champions of Change at UBC”.

Explore Drivers of Diversity