ABOUT THIS EVENT
Image above sourced from The Gender Spectrum Collective. Used per Creative Commons license.
We are excited to share with you this beautiful image captured during the event by our friends at Drawing Change.
Diversity Circles invites you to join us for Black Excellence Day!
Join us to hear from BCIT community members and special guests who identify as a member of the Black and African Diaspora community as they share their experiences and stories about what Black Excellence means to them.
The contributions of this community have made – and continue to make – a positive difference. At the same time, we recognize that the Black community continues to face disproportionate barriers, as a result of systemic racism and discrimination. Equity and anti-racism work are foundational to all our efforts to build a genuinely inclusive community.
Education is one of the most powerful tools to achieve racial equity and equality. By learning to identify language, acts of racism and oppression as well as understand diverse cultural histories and experiences, we can better address discrimination in our communities.
Note: BCIT Library has prepared a book list in celebration of Black Excellence Day.
Moderator & Panelist
Orrett Morgan (he/him/his) started his IT career in the mailroom of a downtown Vancouver law firm. More than a decade later, he was managing and supporting networks. He transitioned to education in the fall of 2008. Orrett is an IT professional who brought skills from industry and translated them into practical training for students. In 2017, Orrett turned a face-to-face classroom model into a blended model. By the start of the pandemic in 2020, Orrett realized it was time to ensure that if students were going to be online all the time, they could probably use more mental health resources. Orrett’s philosophy on education is focused on student mental health and well being. Orrett is the Program Head for the Technology Support Professional Program at BCIT.
William Oching, MBA, P.Eng., started his career at BCIT in 2015 as a Faculty member in the Mining and Mineral Exploration Department and involved in the establishment of the accredited Bachelor of Engineering in Mining and Mineral Resources Program. With strong industry experience, William developed and instructs several mining engineering courses and serves as the Program Quality Assurance Coordinator.William passionately has been an FSA Tech Rep, Returning Officer for four years and Board member (current); and represented his department and FSA in various capacities: new hires selection, health and safety and curriculum committees, and anti- racism working group. He volunteers as a board member for community and non- profit organization boards, locally and nationally such as Burnaby Girls Soccer Club, and World University Service of Canada, etc. William has a passion for training & developing others and demonstrated remarkably to get tasks done, genuinely enjoys serving the community for the purpose of achieving a common goal.
Judy Phipps, Executive Vice President BCGEU, was elected to her first term as Executive Vice-President (EVP) of the BCGEU at the 2021 Constitutional Convention. Prior to becoming an EVP, Judy’s 40 year work history has encompassed working within a variety of marginalized environments. Most recently, Judy worked as Support Staff in the Broadcast and Media Communications department at BCIT on the Burnaby campus. She served as a Steward, fervently advocating for her co-workers. She was also a member of BCIT’s Anti-Racism Working Group, assembled to create change and policy at BCIT, which ensures education, raising awareness, and ensuring an inclusive learning environment for all.
Judy is deeply passionate about equity, human rights, anti-racism, and the treatment of people. This motivated her to produce the video “Moving Forward: Let’s Talk Anti-Racism”, which featured two high profile BCIT Alumni sharing their unique lived experiences as IBPOC folks. For her years of service and dedication in this regard, she received the BCIT Inclusivity Award. Judy is also a member of the BCGEU’s Roundtable for Workers of Colour, and resides in the unceded traditional territories of the qiqéyt (Qayqayt) First Nation in New Westminster.
Erin Reddick (she/her), AI Developer and Founder of ChatBlackGPT, has carved a notable path in the technology industry. Her career encompasses significant roles at major tech companies including Meta, Microsoft, AWS, and Facebook. Reddick’s most impactful contribution to the field is the creation of ChatBlackGPT, an AI software providing perspectives from the Black and African American communities. This innovation reflects her commitment to inclusivity and cultural sensitivity in technology. Reddick’s journey in tech, marked by her identity as a Black woman, involves addressing the racial biases present in AI. Her dedication led her to become a certified ChatGPT Expert and Prompt Engineer, culminating in the development of ChatBlackGPT. This platform aims to offer a safe, inclusive space for exploring AI, specifically tailored to the Black American experience. ChatBlackGPT, under Reddick’s guidance, ensures a response style that is culturally aware and respectful. Reddick’s work is pivotal in diversifying AI, promoting technology that is equitable and representative of diverse experiences. Her efforts are a testament to the importance of inclusive technology development, inspiring further advancements in the field.
Register below to attend in-person. If you would like to attend remotely, please contact us for the login link. ASL interpretation will be provided. Please let us know if you have any additional needs to participate.
As a light lunch will be served, please let us know if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions.
This session is open to BCIT staff, faculty, and students, along with BCIT alumni and Student Association staff.
Expectations for Behaviour
Diversity Circles, as part of the BCIT Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion (RDI) Office, has outlined the Expectations for Behaviour for our events and initiatives.
Diversity Circles has always benefitted from the empathy, sincerity, and respectful curiosity of our community, and this has helped create events and initiatives where we hold productive and authentic discussions, advancing our knowledge and utilization of equity, diversity, and inclusion principles.
As our events and initiatives continue to reach out to diverse audiences which include BCIT employees, students, and partners (BCIT Student Association, BCIT Alumni Association, and industry guests), and as we have moved towards presenting events both in person and via teleconferencing platforms, we realize that having a set of expectations for behaviour will help maintain the accountable, respectful spaces our community has come to expect from Diversity Circles events and initiatives.
Please take the time to review our Expectations for Behaviour prior to your upcoming participation.