The KUS BIPOC Committee Recipient of the SLC Showcase Award

Shalom Howe, who is a fourth year Kinesiology student in the Interdisciplinary stream, is the KUS BIPOC Committee Founder and Coordinator. “The committee began this past summer, in hopes of bringing Black students, Indigenous students and students of colour together in Kinesiology. We have a website and social media pages where we curate online resources such as podcasts and mental health resources for BIPOC students. We also highlight related current events as well as BIPOC-owned businesses and artists. We run social and educational events and are hoping to have more of these in the new year. We ultimately want to create a space in the KUS and the School where BIPOC students feel welcome and included and have the resources they need to succeed in university.”

According to Shalom, winning a Showcase Award from the Student Leadership Conference will give the BIPOC Committee the chance to connect with more students and cultivate a collaborative relationship with other student leaders.

The committee conducted a “Listening Session” in October 2020 “with the goal of hearing more from BIPOC students about their experiences with discrimination, anti-Black or Indigenous racism and sharing this feedback with faculty and staff so that we can enact real change. This has given a lot of students the opportunity to share things that they have not been able to talk about and to hear that they aren’t alone in these experiences.” In the new semester, the BIPOC Committee is hoping to host an Indigenous speaker, and have more social events. They are also aiming to highlight Black history month in February and address racial health disparities. Eventually, the committee would like to develop a scholarship for BIPOC students in Kinesiology and work towards having a bigger impact on “an institutional level and influence structural changes.”

As the global pandemic has pushed community building to occur virtually, the BIPOC committee has shifted their focus to building their social media and online content so that it is more accessible to students. “I want to see the committee continue to grow and, in the Fall, see what a fully functioning in-person committee looks like, and what they can do. I am hoping that in the future we can have a physical space and that we can grow the number of events we hold!”