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Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigeneity

Mission Statement

Inclusion inspires teamwork and innovation. Diversity sparks creativity. Equity represents opportunity, trust, and the foundational resources for productive relationships. Indigenous awareness facilitates collaboration and learning from the land and its people.

These values are fundamental for success in our mission to ‘change the way our society collaborates with nature for a sustainable and renewable future.’ We embrace these values in our daily actions to innovate and create sustainable solutions that reflect society’s connection to our natural environment. By bringing together state of the art research and resources, BPI aims to unlock the potential of nature and creativity to make a positive impact on all sectors of the economy.

To advance UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan and Indigenous Strategic Plan, our strategic plan reflects the significance we have given to Inclusive Leadership & Respectful Engagement by embedding EDI.I in all facets of our research and operations.

Action Plan

As a hub of innovation, the Bioproducts Institute is actively involved in constructing and maintaining productive team relationships and engaging with the local and global communities to learn, develop and implement sustainable solutions that reflect EDI.I values. To deliver on these commitments, we focus on five core themes:

  1. Collaboration: Listen respectfully to all voices and promote diverse and equitable ideas by working together with communities at both the local and global scale.
  2. Innovation: Provide a safe environment for creativity and multigenerational research excellence.
  3. Leadership: Act with uncompromising honesty and integrity in our daily operations by remaining inquisitive and adaptive.
  4. Education: Equip staff and community members with resources that enhance the competencies and capacity they need to build respectful, diverse, and inclusive communities.
  5. Engagement: Foster environments for learning, building, and exchanging multiple and intersectional ways of knowing to empower people today to build a better future for the next generation.

BPI EDI.I Committee

Working together on issues or concerns related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity, the development of an EDI.I Committee is essential in supporting efforts to advance inclusion within BPI as well as at UBC more broadly.

The Committee will be an intentional place for members to support policy reviews and revisions; initiate educational programming; address and implement proactive strategies to mitigate concerns regarding human rights (i.e., religion, age, disability) and discrimination (i.e., racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism); as well as demonstrating an authentic commitment to Truth and Reconciliation and valuing traditional ways of knowing. Moreover, the Committee can ensure that BPI provide professional research support and services to Indigenous communities and that university researchers undertake collaborative projects that are based on community-led interests, reciprocal relationships and principles of mutual accountability.

BPI’s EDI.I Committee will focus on initiatives such as the development of programs, events, workshops, and analysis of data or reports as well as providing direction on policies, programs, initiatives and systems change. The formation of the Committee will require a mix of perspectives and expertise, with membership determined by representation, lived experience, expertise or skills. The initial requirements of the Committee will be to identify a purpose and focus, followed by ascertaining the structure, location, and authority of the Committee.

EDI.I Committee Members

Daniela Vargas Figueroa

ERMP Research Project Manager

Akash Gondaliya

PhD Candidate, Chemistry

Yalan Liang

Undergraduate Student, Forestry

Adriana Manso

Associate Professor, Restorative Dentistry

Marina Mehling

PhD Candidate, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Titichai Navessin

BPI Operations Director

Kelley Oh

Engagement & EDII Facilitator

Gregory Paradis

Assistant Professor, Forest Resources Management

Orlando Rojas

Professor & BPI Scientific Director

Sumi Siddiqua

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering

Heather Trajano

Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Qingshi Tu

Assistant Professor, Forestry

Anderson Veiga

PhD Student, Wood Science

Shiva Zargar

PhD Candidate, Forestry

If you have any questions or suggestions about EDI.I issues, please do not hesitate to contact Kelley Oh, Engagement & EDII Facilitator, at