To our UBC community and beyond,

Now, more than ever is the time for transformative action in pursuit of a more sustainable future. The ORICE mandate is to equip students with the tools and frameworks necessary to overcome complex social and ecological challenges by supporting their learning in and out of the classroom. The current health crisis has spawned new and different systemic issues with which to contend while exacerbating existing inequities within our local and global spheres. The ORICE team is determined to create and support programming that facilitates connection, that not only informs of these new challenges but also engages in action. An action that is in solidarity with our grassroots partners and works toward mutually-beneficial relationships with UBC students. We commit to ethically engage students and to ensure they have the opportunity to work alongside community leaders and experts, to apply their disciplinary knowledge to address both short-term and long-term issues brought on by this health crisis and related global issues.   

 In the wake of this unprecedented global health challenge, ORICE understands that our local and global connections will be amplified into the remote/ digital sphere for the foreseeable future. While we cannot deny that there are limitations and challenges to this mode of interaction, it does not mean our commitment to engage with our community partners is any less necessary or important. In fact, there is great urgency to consider the public purpose and multiple roles of higher education institutions in supporting the mandates of our community partners in one of the most challenging periods of modern history.

We are actively adjusting to our continuously evolving reality, adapting remote programs to ensure our students are able to work with community partners to address the current needs brought on by the unique challenges of COVID-19. Adapting to ensure that our collaborations are truly generative and reflective of partner requests given their own organizational shifts and constraints.  Our team’s most urgent goal is to ensure our resources and skills are being effectively used to assist our longstanding partners, through collaborations and skill-sharing. We have been working with our community partner organizations to collaboratively introduce student research and action projects that will launch shortly after details are finalized. We are also facilitating opportunities for partners from around the world to share innovations and asset-based approaches with one another.

In addition, the Collective for Gender+ in Research is working to establish an online teach-in series ‘Politics, Policy, and Pandemic’ to bring attention to the systemic gaps exacerbated by COVID-19, gathering academics and frontline activists. 

We will continue to operate remotely until our return is deemed safe from the university and Provincial health authorities. If you would like to contact us, email orice.ubc@ubc.ca and make sure to follow our social channels on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to stay updated.