Research Projects

CCIE is collaborating with the Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth (TAG)

This collaboration will support the UBC teaching and learning community in developing capacity for intercultural understanding. CCIE is involved in the advisory group for TAG's Living Lab, a project in which a troupe of student actors develop and perform interactive theatre on issues of educational equity for UBC teaching audiences. CCIE and TAG are also partnering, along with several other units on campus, to develop a program for faculty and graduate students to enhance their skills and redesign courses to include significant equity and diversity learning for UBC students.


Principal Investigator - Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Community-University Research Alliance (SSHRC-CURA, 2007-2012) :

"Promised Land: The Freedom Experience of Blacks in the Chatham and Dawn Settlements"
Principal Investigator - Dr. Boulou Ebanda de B'béri (University of Ottawa); Co-investigators - Professor David Divine (Dalhousie University), Dr. Nina Reid-Maroney (University of Windsor), Dr. Handel Kashope Wright (University of British Columbia); Community Organization Co-investigators - Mrs. Gwen Robinson (Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society) and Mrs. Marie Carter (Dresden Community Development Association)

This SSHRC funded Community-University Research Alliance brings together a team of community and university researchers to explore and further record the lost narratives of Black people in a number of identified settlements spanning from 1775 to the present. Specifically, the project's goal is to recover, document, analyze, and disseminate the fullness, interconnectedness and significance of Black history in the Promised Land Communities. The project also seeks to highlight the historical importance of these Promised Land Communities as an unrecognized yet pivotal story in Canada's past, which continues to have relevance as a model of multiculturalism that predates the discourse of multiculturalism in our current global age. The research team spans provincial, national and international boundaries and includes the following individuals and community organizations: Boulou Ebanda de B'beri, University of Ottawa; Gwen Robinson, Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society; Marie Carter, Dresden Community Development Association; Nina Reid-Maroney, University of Windsor; David Divine, Dalhousie University, and Handel Kashope Wright, University of British Columbia, together with the support of a variety of national and international partners and collaborators from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom (De B'béri, excerpts from Project Summary). More information forthcoming on this project.

Multiculturalism With(out) Guarantees: Comparative Multiculturalism and it's Alternatives

Principal Investigator - Dr. Handel Kashope Wright. Sponsored by CCIE and David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education.

Project Summary: This project involves rethinking multiculturalism both within Canada and internationally and includes theoretical comparisons of multicultural discourse with alternative discourses such as integrative anti-racism, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism. The project has a number of subthemes and focal points. These include Expressing and Exploring Youth Identities in a Multicultural Context, Transnationalism as an Alternative to Multiculturalism, The Integrative Anti-Racism Alternative. See below for details on each of these sub-themes and for more information on activities associated with this research project.

Multiculturalism Without Guarantees: Glocal Models for Addressing Sociocultural Difference in Liquid Communities
October, 2009 Ongoing
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright, Principal Investigator
A SSHRC funded research project

This dual (theoretical and empirical) cultural studies of education research project aims to contribute to the discussion of how sociocultural difference is to be addressed progressively in contemporary societies in general and in educational systems as a concrete example. Today liberal multiculturalism as preferred social and educational policy and discourse for addressing sociocultural difference is waning, if not on its deathbed. This project grapples, therefore, with the crucial question of the viability of multiculturalism in various national and local contexts in the face of recent attacks on it (e.g. the post 9/11, post 7/7 backlash) which depict it as dangerously divisive and a threat to social cohesion and national identity and the ascendancy of alternatives which threaten to render it passé.

Expressing and Exploring Youth Identities in a Multicultural Context
2007 - Present
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright
Sponsored by CCIE and David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education

Vancouver is readily recognizable as a city characterized by a rich and complex sociocultural diversity and a pervasive, positive popular and official discourse of multiculturalism. The overarching problem this study addresses is the expression and representation of contemporary youth identity in contexts characterized by multiculturalism (Kelly, 2004). The study will focus on how a set of secondary school youth in Vancouver articulate and represent their identities and their relationship to real and “imagined communities” (Anderson, 1991) utilizing creative artistic media such as essays, drawings, photographs, short stories, oral narratives, paintings, skits, multimedia texts, and how they position themselves in relation to multiculturalism and multicultural education. This involves addressing contributory questions. In what ways and to what extent, for example, do youth in Vancouver think of themselves as belonging in various real and imagined communities such as school, neighbourhood, ethnic group, the city of Vancouver, the Canadian nation, cyber communities (Nakamura, 2002), continental youth identity, globalized youth communities? How do mixed raced and multiethnic youth navigate racial and ethnic identity (Hill, 2001)? How does socio-cultural difference play out in friendships and romantic relationships? In what ways do Canadian youth identify with and see themselves as distinct from American youth (Adams, 2003)? In what ways do youth see multicultural education affecting academic success? How would youth express their identities and their relationship to community through various media?

Transnationalism as an Alternative to Multiculturalism
Forthcoming 2009
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright and Professor Meaghan Morris (University of Sydney, Australia and Lingnan University in Hong Kong)

Dr. Wright and Professor Morris are co-editing a special issue of Cultural Studies on the topic of Cultural Studies and Transnationalism. In particular, the special issue will consider transnationalism as an alternative to multiculturalism. See Cultural Studies for more details.

The Integrative Anti-Racism Alternative
April 2007
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

This day long symposium explored both the possibilities and limitations of integrative anti-racism as an alternative discourse to multiculturalism. The symposium opened with remarks by UBC Associate Vice President, Tom Patch and CCIE Director & David Lam Chair, Dr. Handel Kashope Wright. This was followed by a key note address by Professor George Sefa Dei, who offered some critical points in theorizing “integrative anti-racism," as well as drew attention to the pressing need for new questions. Dr. Leslie Roman then provided a response paper in which she spoke about the importance of relational genealogies as a crucial component of integrative anti-racism. In addition, the symposium featured panels on the intersection of indigeneity and anti-racism; anti-racist teacher education and classroom practice; UBC administration’s anti-racism efforts; and faculty and staff anti-racism activism.

Sixth Crossroads in Cultural Studies: An International Conference: Transnationalism and Cultural Studies 1 & 2
July 2006
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Transnationalism has emerged as both a substantial aspect of and corollary to contemporary globalization and these panels, organized by CCIE director, Dr. Handel Kashope Wright, explored the nuances of this phenomenon in relation to cultural studies. Professor Meaghan Morris was the discussant for Panel 1, which included the following papers: a) de B'beri, Boulou; "The Practices of Marronage in African Film: Peck, Sissako and Teno-The New Griots of New Times?" b) Shome, Raka; "Postcolonial Reflections on 'The Globalization of Cultural Studies'" c) Yue, Mingbao; "Beyond Ethnicity, into Equality: Rethinking Hybridity and Transnationalism in Local Literature from Hawaii". Papers for Panel 2 included: a) Kim, Sujeong; "Social Discourses on the Popularity of a Korean Popular Drama in East Asia" b) Pina, Alvaro; "Transnational Constellations of Knowledge and Practice" c) Stanley-Niaah, Sonjah; "Dancehall, Kwaito, and the Mapping of Black Atlantic Performance Geographies."

Exploring and Promoting Multiculturalism and Related Discourses
March 2006
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright and NCIE

This town hall served as an exploratory and planning meeting on multiculturalism and related discourses and brought together UBC faculty and graduate students from such research areas as multiculturalism, anti-racism, interculturalism, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, cultural studies, social cohesion and identity/identification politics. The purpose of the town hall was to share research projects and interests, plan activities, identify potential collaborators in multiculturalism and related discourses. In addition to the general discussion that took place, the town hall featured three guest presenters: Professor Peter Seixas, Canadian Research Chair and Director of the Centre for Study of Historical Consciousness, who spoke on his current SSHRC project, “Benchmarks of Historical Literacy.” Karen Rolston and Jack Lee from the Centre for Intercultural Language Studies, who discussed “town/gown” work, and Yvonne Brown, who presented on “African and Diaspora Literature for Children Project.

Rethinking Youth Identity and Youth Studies

This dual project involves the rethinking of youth identity in current times as well as the implications of such rethinking for the field of youth studies. Dr. Wright has been collaborating with several other scholars in various facets of this work, principally Dr. Yvonne Hebert, University of Calgary, on youth identity and Dr. Jo-Anne Dillabough (UBC/University of Cambridge, UK) on rethinking youth studies. Published in 2008.

AFRICAN CULTURAL STUDIES: Rethinking africa/ns

Principal Investigator - Dr. Handel Kashope Wright and Various (see below). Sponsored by CCIE and David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education.

Project Summary: This project attempts to trouble established ways of conceptualizing and positioning Africa and Africans. The project examines such issues as African ways of knowing, African Identities, the African Diaspora, and the place of Africa and Africans in global discourses of education and the field of cultural studies. It has several sub-projects to it. See below for details on each of these sub-projects and for more information on activities associated with this research project.

Cultural Studies in Africa / African Cultural Studies.
Summer 2007
Professor Keyan Tomaselli (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) and Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Professor Tomaselli and Dr. Wright are co-editing a special issue of Cultural Studies on the topic of Cultural Studies in Africa / African Cultural Studies. On the one hand this special issue explores both the spread and application of established, predominantly Western cultural studies as inter/postdisciplinary intellectual and praxis work at various sites and in connection with various projects on and in Africa. On the other hand, it explores the evolution of African cultural studies at specific sites or in general and its incorporation into and relationship with global cultural studies. See Cultural Studies for more details.

Book Manuscript - Rethinking Continental Africa and Diasporic Identity
In progress
Professor Ali Abdi and Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Professor Abdi and Dr. Wright are co-editing a book-length manuscript on Rethinking African Continental and Diasporic Identity, which is forthcoming with Rozenberg Publications. This project developed out of a conference panel they organized at 2005 Comparative and International Education Society West conference (see below) and is an extension of the special issue of International Education that they edited together in 2006.

Special Journal Editions of DIME and JCIE
Forthcoming 2008
Drs. Handel Wright, Samson Nashon and David Anderson

Two special journal editions on the topic of African Education: Worldviews, Ways of Knowing and Pedagogy emerged as a result of the symposium that Dr. Samson Nashon and Dr. David Anderson organized in collaboration with CCIE director, Dr. Handel Wright. The special editions will be featured in DIME: Diasporas, Indigenous and Minority Education and JCIE: Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education Vol 2.2. (2008).

Co-Sponsored Event - A Public Talk by Paul Wangoola
April 2007
Dr. Paul Wangoola

In this talk, Paul Wangoola discusses the field recordings of Shawn Hall. The two choirs associated with Mpambo and which were recorded by Shawn Hall during a visit in 2004 and samples will also be played. Paulo Wangoola, Nabyama (Founder-President) of the Mpambo Afrikan Multiversity, a recently established and village-based institution of research and higher education dedicated to the revitalization of African Indigenous Thought and Spirituality. The Mpambo campus is located in Isegero, Iganga in Busoga, Eastern Uganda. As part of the work of Mpambo, there is both an Mpambo traditional music and dance group and the Ebanguliro Afrikan Spiritual Choir. A national office is located in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

Perceptions of Africa: A Dialogue - A Public Talk
March 2007
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Is This An African I See Before Me? - This public talk, which is forthcoming as an article in DIME, was delivered by Dr. Handel Kashope Wright as part of the Museum of Anthropology's Perceptions of Africa: A Dialogue series, which featured talks, discussion, and reflection relating to Africa, AIDS, and Representation. In this paper, Dr. Wright addresses the ways in which "Africa and Africans have been continuously mis-recognized and overdetermined by western academic discourses" and looks at what is lost through this eurocentric framework. Click here for details on the Perceptions of Africa dialogue series.

African Education: Worldviews, Ways of Knowing & Pedagogy Symposium
November 2006
Organized by Drs. Samson Nashon, David Anderson and Handel Kashope Wright

This one-day symposium, which is part of a larger research project on African Ways of Knowing, brought together leading and emerging scholars and experts who have undertaken research in areas that in one way or the other lend to understanding of the African learner. The central aim of the symposium was to examine African worldviews, ways of knowing and pedagogy, which shape African students’ knowledge construction processes and which in many respects are unique and in other respects have similarities with the Western paradigm of the education process. To this end, presenters at the symposium drew on their experience and research in African contexts to elucidate these culturally rooted constructs. This was done both in the form of formal paper presentation sessions which were followed by group discussions based on themes congruous with symposium focus, and through a keynote address. The keynote speaker was Professor Ali Abdi, who presented a paper on the problematic relationship between African world views and their attendant educational and epistemological system on the one hand, and the dominant European discourses that have attempted to negate the validity of those, both in historical and contemporary Africa, on the other. Professor Abdi’s paper was preceded by a response from Professor Kogila Adam-Moodley, which was followed by a presentation by Dr. Yvonne Brown on policy issues pertaining to Africa. The afternoon was comprised largely of group discussions which provided participants with a unique opportunity to share experiences and perspectives with the guidance and input of Africans and Africanists. For more information on this research project, click here.

Co-Sponsored Public Event - African Delegates: Health and HIV/Aids Grassroots Initiatives Symposium
October 2006
Organized by African students in the Faculty of Education and co-sponsored by The David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education and the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education (CCIE)

This symposium brought together African delegates working on the front lines of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The purpose of the symposium was to enable delegates to connect with UBC students and faculty around specific projects and initiatives. The symposium also provided an opportunity for participants to discuss potential partnerships and future funding initiatives, as well as explore how models for social change in their own communities could be applied elsewhere. The symposium included four panelists, as well as remarks by Her Excellency Ms. Motseoa Senyane, the High Commissioner of Lesotho to Canada. The four panelists were: Meisie Maaroganye (Community Leader, Evaton West Community Development Forum in South Africa), Lerato Legoabe (Project Coordinator, Girls’ Net), Agnes Pareyio (UN Person of the Year in Kenya, 2005), and Sipho Mamba (formerly from Swaziland’s diplomatic services, AIDS orphans care). The symposium also featured remarks by the Lesotho High Commissioner to Canada, Ms. Motseoa Senyane, who spoke of the pressing need for a clearer and much more unbiased image of Africa. A video-stream of High Commissioner Senyane's comments can be found at the following YouTube feed: Clear words from a Lion

African Identities - Journal Articles and edited books
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Publications include several special issues of journal articles and a forthcoming edited book. These include the following publications: a) Wright, H.K. (Ed.). (2006). Africans and Western Discourses of Empowerment. International Education, 36 (1). b) Wright, H.K. (Ed.). (2003). Diasporic Africans and the Question of Identity. Critical Arts, 17 (1, 2) [double issue]. c) Wright, H.K. (Ed.). (2002). Continental Africa(ns) and the Question of Identity. Critical Arts, 16 (2). d) Wright, H.K. (in progress). Rethinking African Continental and Diasporic Identity. Rozenberg Publication.

CIES Western Regional Conference, Conference Panel - Western Discourses and African Praxis: Appropriation, Ambivalence and Alternatives
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright, Professor Ali Abdi, Dr. Nombuson Dlamini, Mr. Constantine Ngara

This panel addressed the complex relationship that progressive African academics (both on the continent and in the diaspora) have developed with received critical western discourses. All four papers were presented by continental Africans currently located in the diaspora and all reflect what the panelists have come to identify as the three, often simultaneous ways in which Africans respond to western discourses, namely appropriation, ambivalence and the putting forward of alternatives. The four discourses addressed as examples on the panel were philosophy, feminism, giftedness in special education, and cultural studies. The papers indicated that progressive Africans find these critical discourses empowering and reflective of our own politics (hence our readiness to appropriate them). Yet they also often find them marginalizing and/or inadequate for our specific praxis and populations (hence our ambivalence towards them). Finally they undertake the work that is too often neglected, namely looking to African cultures for already existing traditional or contemporary notions and discourses that can be combined with those from the West or which can act as alternatives to received Western discourses.

African Identities - Book Project
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

In A Prescience of African Cultural Studies, Dr. Wright makes an argument for undertaking a necessary paradigm shift: from literature studies in Africa to African Cultural Studies. There are several major themes in this text; in particular, it rejects mainstream notions of literature as (self)deceptively "apolitical" and decidedly non-utilitarian. As an alternative, Wright proposes African Cultural Studies as an African-centered discourse and praxis that incorporates written, oral, and performance forms, and overtly addresses political and sociocultural issues. He articulates African Cultural Studies in relation to existing cultural studies, its taken for granted British origin and genealogy, and its global trajectories. Finally, Wright elaborates on African Cultural Studies by reconceptualizing drama (emphasizing performance over written text), incorporating film and electronic media and exploring the potential contribution African cultural studies could make to both the discourse and process of development in Africa.

Cultural Studies of Education

Principal Investigators - Dr. Handel Kashope Wright and Dr. Karl Maton (University of Sydney, Australia). Sponsored by CCIE and David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education.
Project Summary: this project involves contributions to the conceptualization of the international formation of cultural studies of education. It involves an exploration of the historical and contemporary relationships between the fields of cultural studies and education and possible new trajectories of that relationship at various sites around the world. Drs. Handel Wright and Karl Maton (University of Sidney, Australia) have been engaged in this project for several years and have undertaken this work collaboratively, involving a number of figures working on the intersection of cultural studies and education in various parts of the world. This ongoing project has yielded several conference panel discussions and publications, including the following:

Returning Cultural Studies to Education
Fall 2002
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright and Karl Maton

Abstract: This Special Issue is dedicated to bringing into the open what Stuart Hall (1976: 8) described as ‘the hidden aspects’ of the ‘daily work’ of cultural studies by returning the attention of cultural studies to education. This is not simply to return education to the agenda of cultural studies but also to re-turn the focus of cultural studies to its own educational formations and contexts (cf. Wright, 1998). Taking the rhetoric of proclamation within cultural studies at face value, this might at first appear unnecessary; the perceived need for this shift of focus is nothing new. However, we argue here that there remains a gap between rhetoric and reality within cultural studies, one with real and potentially deleterious consequences for its aims. Though cultural studies remains rhetorically committed to reflexive analysis of itself as education, the reality is somewhat different. In terms of education, we argue, cultural studies tends to emphasize intention over effect – a culture of commitment rather than one of consequence (Maton, 2002a). In so doing, the reality of cultural studies as education may be not only distanced from but even deleterious to the aims expressed in its rhetoric. For cultural studies to be truly serious about its aims, we therefore require a fuller awareness of the consequences of educational contexts and practices for what we are able to achieve. In this themed issue on Cultural Studies as Education, we are presenting contributions from an international cast of pedagogues and researchers who join us in addressing these issues. We begin here by contextually setting out some of the obstacles to realizing rhetoric and so achieving a more reflexive cultural studies. A full version of this article can be found in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, 5 (4).

Other Publications
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright

Several special journal editions and book chapters have emerged from Dr. Wright and Dr. Maton's work in the area of the cultural studies of education. These include a special journal edition (double issue) in The Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, 26 (1, 2), as well as a chapter in Daniel Weil and Joe Kincheloe's Critical Thinking and Learning: An Encyclopedia for Parents and Teachers, which was published by Greenwood Press.

Globalization of Cultural Studies of Education
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright and Dr. Karl Maton (University of Sydney)

Dr. Wright and Dr. Mason also are in the process of co-editing a book length manuscript, which will be published by Sense Publications and will bring together the work of other contributors to the field.

Crossroads in Cultural Studies: An International Conference (University of Tampere) - Panel 1: Cultural Studies and/in Education & Panel 2: Cultural Studies and the Challenge of Education
June/July 2002 & June/July 1998
Dr. Handel Kashope Wright and Dr. Karl Maton

The relationship between cultural studies and the field of education remains curiously contradictory: it is underemphasized in cultural studies circles in terms of the historical relationship between the two fields and yet rapidly expanding in education circles in terms of current developments. For example, despite Raymond Williams repeated assertion that cultural studies originated in the field of Adult Education and despite the fact that early CCCS work included work on education and two successive Education Groups, the adult education origin of cultural studies has been marginalized in favor of the expansive narrative of the crises in the Humanities and social sciences as cultural studies originary moment, and education is not discussed much in cultural studies circles as a contributory field. On the other hand, cultural studies has emerged and is being rapidly taken up in North American radical education as successor to critical and multicultural theory and pedagogy and furthermore, cultural studies is being institutionalized in the form of cultural studies departments, sections and foci at colleges of education. These panels explored such issues as the nature and profile of the historical and contemporary relationship between cultural studies and education; the contribution that cultural studies and education have and can make to each other's discourse and praxis; and examples of concrete projects that blend education and cultural studies.

Co-Sponsored Initiatives

Colored Collective {COCO}

Colored Collective {COCO} is a student driven pilot project that seeks to create a transformative and inclusive space of dialogue for self identified students of color at the University of British Columbia. {COCO} believes in the power of marginalized communities to mobilize by engaging in cross-cultural dialogue and learning. {COCO} seeks to critically engage with issues of race, gender, culture, and Diaspora by fostering a youth driven movement that uses social, educational and cultural practices to make effective change.

Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA)

An ongoing initiative with Dr. Afua Cooper as Interim Chair, in which Dr. Handel Wright is involved.

2010 Educational Conference/Workshop will involve academic and community groups and is to take place in Edmonton, AB. Initiative to establish CCIE in partnership with the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta.

Knowledge Production and the Black Experience in Canada

May 1-3, 2009 Conference/Workshop in Vancouver, BC which also involved academic and community groups.

Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS) Triennial Conference

August 17-22, 2007, University of British Columbia
Co-sponsored by CCIE and the David Lam for Multicultural Education, among others.

This conference, on the theme "Literature For Our Times", addressed the role and function of literature in the twenty-first century through keynote speeches, paper presentations, panel discussions and literary readings. The program commenced with a reading and commentary by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott on the evening of August 17, 2007. There were keynote speeches on the mornings of August 18 -22nd, followed by concurrent sessions and panel discussions till the evening of August 22, 2007. Highlights of the conference included a keynote address by CCIE Advisory Board member, Professor Henry Giroux, and a reading by and a question/answer session with acclaimed Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Professor Thiong'o also gave a keynote address, in which he explored the importance of translation in fostering new kinds of literary communities among marginalized voices. His keynote was followed by a response paper, given by CCIE Director, Dr. Handel Kashope Wright.

Music, Culture and Indigenous Thought in Busoga, Uganda: Cultural Survival and Revival at Mpambo, the African Multiversity - A Public Talk by Paul Wangoola

Organized by the Museum of Anthropology and co-sponsored by CCIE and David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education.

In this public talk, Paul Wangoola discusses the field recordings of Shawn Hall. The two choirs associated with Mpambo and which were recorded by Shawn Hall during a visit in 2004 and samples will also be played. Paulo Wangoola, Nabyama (Founder-President) of the Mpambo Afrikan Multiversity, a recently established and village-based institution of research and higher education dedicated to the revitalization of African Indigenous Thought and Spirituality. The Mpambo campus is located in Isegero, Iganga in Busoga, Eastern Uganda. As part of the work of Mpambo, there is both an Mpambo traditional music and dance group and the Ebanguliro Afrikan Spiritual Choir. A national office is located in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

heARTS: Disability as higher education through the Arts

Dr. Leslie Roman (Educational Studies). Co-sponsored by CCIE and David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education.

The overall aim of the heARTS Series, an acronym for Disability as Higher Education through the ARTS is to launch a critical public dialog about disability equity and social justice issues through a ‘speakers’ series that will be led by artists and policy spokespersons from the cross-disability communities. Artists and speakers with disabilities will draw upon a variety of different media (visual and performing) and disability-related policy to publicly share their own authentic narratives in their own voices with the non-disabled public at UBC students, faculty and staff. Inspired by innovative cultural and arts-based engagement, the series will challenge the dominant tropes and stereotypes that persons with disabilities are leading lives of pity, charity, heroic inspiration, or more often, dire tragedy. The series will educate the non-disabled, as well as provide active mentorship to aspiring talented artists and speakers with disabilities who will be performing alongside or conjunction with renowned artists and speakers with disabilities. Talented artists and young scholars with disabilities drawn from the existing and prospective student body at UBC will be paired with one high-profile and well-known professional artist with a disability to give paired performances/talks, artistic or film- screenings to a large receive Grounded in the larger international, national and local disability arts, cultural and right’s-based movement, the heARTS series will instigate a long overdue dialog UBC that brings together artists, performers and speakers with disabilities in an approach that harmonizes artistic and cultural politics with a rights’-based and policy approaches to social justice on disability issues. The series is part of the three-year plan to establish a Visiting Artist-with-a-Disability-Residency program in the professional faculties of UBC (Education, Law, Medicine, Nursing and Social Work) of which the series is to be an integrated part. The goal is to increase the retention of undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities through the provision of role models from the disability arts and culture movement in and outside of higher education, particularly in the professional faculties.