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Anti-racism, Equality and Inclusion

At the Colleges, we strive to create an inclusive environment with respect for all. Racism and bias have no place in our community and we have zero tolerance for it.

We must work together to dismantle the tools of oppression and white supremacy that remain prevalent and entrenched in our everyday systems. Universities are sanctuaries, safe ground for sober reflection, as well as hallowed places where deep thinking can occur. We are committed to being a place that advances the understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

This is a learning process for us all. Each one of us has the responsibility to stand in solidarity, to listen and to be better. Let’s do that together.

“Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of many people, both near and far.  On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.” – Pope John Paul II

General Resources

UBC Equity & Inclusion Glossary of Terms
As we continue to educate ourselves and continue to work toward building a community of respect, we may come across terms or concepts that are unfamiliar to us. UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office offers a glossary of terms that is a helpful place to start.

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Resources on Racial Justice
The AJCU calls upon students, alumni, faculty and staff to take concrete steps to make a difference in institutions and to use our collective voices as a lever for justice and the common good.

Anti-racism resources from the UBC Teacher Education Office
View a list of resources your own reading or using in your classroom  on anti-racism, Black Lives Matter, and community organizations to support.

Anti-Racism FAQs from the BC Government
B.C.’s multiculturalism policy states that violence, hatred and discrimination on the basis of racial identity have no place in our society. The province's anti-racism program empowers communities and organizations to maintain partnerships and develop projects to promote multiculturalism, address racism and build inclusive communities.

“How to be an Antiracist” podcast episode (from Unlocking Us with Brené Brown)
Although Ibram X. Kendi focuses on antiracism in America, his approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in society is something we can all learn from.

“The FOLD Challenge: 12 Great Ways to Diversify your Reading” from the Festival of Literary Diversity
It can be easy to get stuck in a reading rut, sticking to the same authors and genres. Join in on the FOLD’s reading challenge to diversify your reading choices and explore new voices and perspectives in the books you read.

Reading and Media Resources

VPL – An Anti-Racist Reading List
Access the VPL’s full collection of digital offerings. Borrow e-books and audio books from the library’s Anti-Racist Reading Lists to educate yourself on issues surrounding racism and to become better equipped to take action.

A Different Booklist
A Different Booklist is a Canadian, Toronto-based multicultural bookstore. Their collection of books from underrepresented voices is extensive, and they are a great place to browse if you are looking to diversify your reading while supporting a small business.

National Film Board of Canada, “Black Communities in Canada” Channel
Explore this free collection of Canadian films by award-winning Black filmmakers, creators, and allies of the Black community. From sports to literature to fashion, these films and documentaries touch on a variety of topics.

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Summer Institute

Ready to be inspired and kickstart your own learning? Take advantage of the St. Mark’s Summer Institute, where you will attend virtual classes in real-time over a three-week period and then have many weeks left in which to finish coursework at your own pace. New and returning students have the option of completing a Catholic Core course, an elective course, or both.

Courses run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from July 5-23, 2021. Students have until late August to complete their coursework.

The Summer Institute offers all who are interested - including those who work in education, parish ministry, healthcare, and other professions - the opportunity to engage deeply in reflection and discussion and earn course credits, in a more intensive format than the usual three-month term.

SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture (Fr. Nick Meisl)
Morning class, 8:30am - 12:00pm
Courses run weekdays from July 4-15, 2021.

Discover a basic introduction to Scripture for students without previous background in Scripture. This course covers both the Old and New Testaments in their own contexts, thematic parallels between them, and gives attention to how the Catholic intellectual tradition engages these textual traditions.

Afternoon class (Elective course) – More details to come


Spotlight on student experience

"Deciding to take the Catholic Core Courses at St. Mark’s College, particularly during Covid-19, has been one of the smartest decisions of my life. At first, I felt some trepidation as I last undertook an academic course 9 years ago; however, the entire experience has been so positive and enlightening, I am delighted I did and would definitely encourage others to undertake them as well.

The learning environment is very collegial and supportive; in our classes, our contributions were always valued, not only by the professors, but also by our classmates. It is a wonderful way of learning from each other and forming new relationships. My teaching ministry will definitely be informed by my study at SMC: I am actually looking forward to sharing what I have learned with my students and colleagues. My faith life and appreciation of the liturgy has benefitted, too, from these studies on Scripture and Theology and the readings we have done in class; my choice of bedtime reading material now isn’t novels but the Bible and Apostolic Exhortations! Every Christian Education teacher should take the Catholic Core at St. Mark's College - it’s a great place to learn and grow in your faith!"

- Ann Marie McGrath, Educator
Summer Institute 2020[/letter]

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Is it required that I come to Vancouver for the Summer Institute courses?

No. Attending classes virtually is always an option we offer to students who live outside of Metro Vancouver.
This year, due to COVID-19, all students will be taking their Summer classes virtually through live online courses.

Synchronous, asynchronous, online, virtual, Zoom. So many new terms - how will my classes be offered?

Many people hear “online class” and think of a series of pre-recorded lectures and online interaction with no real-time interaction with a human. That’s not how our courses are offered.

Your classes will be virtual. The live online courses taking place in a digital classroom with real-time instruction and opportunities for face-to-face interaction with your professor and classmates.

Classes run on weekdays for three weeks in July on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There will be a daily live lecture and class time. There may be required readings before each class and most other coursework is completed after classes end. You will have until late August to complete papers and other coursework.

Throughout the course you will be interacting with your professor and fellow classmates.

How do I access my online courses?

St. Mark’s College uses an online learning platform through UBC called Canvas. After you have registered for the course, you will be contacted by the Registrar's Office with instructions for accessing your course materials. If you have questions, please contact Chisom Onwuli at [email protected].

Will I be able to talk to my instructor and classmates?

Yes. The course design and video software allows for two-way interaction. You will be able (even encouraged) to interact with your professor and classmates and engage in discussions.

What is the cost of taking a Summer Institute course?

The Summer Institute courses are full 3-credit courses. The tuition cost can be found on the Tuition and Fees webpage.

As many of our students previously paid tuition in person, there are also special instructions on how to pay tuition during COVID-19.

How do I get the readings and books for my courses?

The list of required textbooks can be found through the online textbook list.

Readings may be shared directly by your professor or accessed through the libraries of St. Mark’s College and UBC.

Do I qualify for admission?

We have admission categories to accommodate various backgrounds including those with no previous post-secondary education, or those who wish to take classes as “auditing students” without going through the full application process. Visit our Admission Requirements webpage for more information.

If you’d like to speak to someone about starting your studies with St. Mark’s College, email [email protected].

More Questions?

Contact Dr. Lynda Robitaille
Email: [email protected]

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