Jaeybee Martinito, Diversity Reporter
An educator holds a pivotal role in a college student’s journey, says NDP MPP Jill Andrew.
“Representation is important, but even more so when the institution listens to students,” said Andrew, who is a Humber grad. “Every student demonstrates what they’re good at and it is for an educator to see and identify that.”
Black Academic Success and Engagement (BASE) hosted its annual All About The BASE fall homecoming event at Humber Lakeshore on Oct. 2.
Coming back to Humber College’s BASE felt like returning home for Andrew, who was in part the guest speaker at the event because she was a graduate of the Child and Youth Worker program back in 1995.
“It’s an opportunity to share some words of wisdom,” she said.
Andrew says she learned the ethics of caring when they were a student at Humber. She said the impact of their college experience to their career success was from the resources in the community spaces.
“It’s important for students to have a direct line to administrations and faculty, where they can bring suggestions, construction criticism, solutions,” she said. “I am a work in progress, as we all are.”
Andrew is the first black and queer person to be elected in the Ontario legislature and continues to work in advocating to end size and appearance discrimination.
“All About The BASE is a sense of homecoming, a call to students so that they can feel at home,” said Yamikani Msosa, coordinator of BASE.
The BASE collaborates with Humber’s Aboriginal Resource Centre (The ARC) and LGBTQ+ Resource Centre to promote inclusivety among students by hosting the Diversity Labs now known as At The Intersections once a month.
These labs are also a way to make first year students as well as returning students feel safe and welcomed when they go to school every day.
“There’s so many opportunities at Humber, especially the task force to be able to continue the lineage of inclusivity,” Msosa said. “They are here to listen to the experiences of students and also celebrate their accomplishments.”
The talk was followed by a student panel of four, where they asked Andrew questions and vice versa.
Jamie Caine, The BASE Outreach and Engagement leader, said their educational journey has been far from linear.
It was the staff in the BASE program who changed the expectations and encouraged further education, Caine said.
“I had staff, who are in this room, that supported me in my accommodations and even getting onto the honour roll,” Caine said.