Webinar | Anti-Racism Response Training

Date: Jun 24, 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT
Format: Online via Zoom
Hosted By: Vancouver Island University in partnership with SIETAR BC and BCCIE
Cost: Free


This webinar has now reached capacity.

At this point, registrations are being accepted for a wait list. We are hoping to offer another session, so you will be notified immediately when a second session has been scheduled.

For more information, please contact Sanchit Mitall at sanchit.mittal@viu.ca.

What can I say or do when I hear racist or discriminatory remarks?
What are my response options when I witness discriminatory behaviour?
How can I participate in creating a safer and more inclusive community through becoming an active witness?

The ANTI-RACISM RESPONSE TRAINING Program, developed by Dr. Ishu Ishiyama – and recently adapted and enhanced by our facilitators – uses a witness-centred approach to prejudice reduction. This training is designed to encourage participants to shift from being frozen or silent bystanders to becoming active witnesses. In doing so, we can disrupt racism and build a safer and more inclusive community.

Key Takeaways
This workshop involves experiential activities to develop and strengthen active witnessing skills. Attendees will explore four levels of witnessing:

  • dis-witnessing,
  • passive witnessing,
  • active witnessing, and
  • ethical witnessing

In addition, participants will also explore four key categories of active witnessing. Attendees will have the chance to learn and practice a wide range of anti-racism responses, as well as share some of their own effective strategies for responding to racism.

This online workshop is follow-up from our April webinar, Building Unity During the Pandemic Addressing Xenophobic Attitudes and Behaviours.  Over the past months, and particular over the past weeks, racism has become front and centre in the news. Many people are expressing shock and outrage regarding incidents of racism and hate right here in BC. At the same time, while we know that victims or targets of racism can be traumatized by the inaction of bystanders, most people freeze up when they witness incidents of racism, largely due to a lack of skills.

Sanchit Mittal (He/Him/His), Vice President, SIETAR BC


Thanh is a refugee, immigrant, Canadian citizen, daughter, wife, mother, woman of color, Christian, Rotarian, foodie, hopeful optimist, and an empty nester, among other things. She was born and spent the first nine years of her life in Vietnam. Her family fled after the American-Vietnam war along with nearly one million other “Boat People”. She lived in a refugee camp for over 3 years before immigrating to Canada in 1984. In 1987 her family discovered beautiful Vancouver Island and moved to Campbell River, and they have lived here since. Thanh completed her Bachelor in Psychology and Sociology in 1996. She and her husband, Mark Tazumi, have two beautiful daughters. Mark is a third generation Japanese Canadian whose family lived in and through the Japanese interment experience. As a family, they ALL have lived experience with racism, including their parents, siblings, cousins, nieces nephews, and their own children. At the same time, Thanh also recognizes the many privileges that she has. Thanh hopes to contribute in a small way to making our community a little safer for those who have been and/or are marginalized and discriminated against.

Naomi is a settler Canadian who greatly values any opportunity to share her skills, learn from others, and collaborate in ways that enhance intercultural understanding, deepen our connections to one another, and create a more just and inclusive society. Over the past 25 years, she has facilitated workshops on various topics, including intercultural competencies, diversity/inclusion, power and privilege, anti-racism and Reconciliation. Through 29 years of working with and advocating for immigrant, refugee and international students as an ESL faculty member at North Island College, and as co-founder of the Immigrant Welcome Centre (Campbell River), Naomi has a deep understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by our diverse community. Originally from Saskatchewan, and having lived many years in the USA and Guatemala, Naomi is grateful to have spent the last 30 years living and raising her sons on unceded First Nations traditional territory near the banks of the Oyster River on Vancouver Island.