The province recently appointed Anthonia Ogundele and Natalie Chan to fill the two empty seats on the UBC Board of Governors.
Almost a year after the resignation of former board chairman Michael Korenberg, and eight months after Andrea Reimer quietly stepped down from the board, Ogundele and Chan bring their business and social justice experience to the table. , as well as experience leading community initiatives at UBC’s highest governing body.
Ogundele’s professional experience consists of planning and managing resilience. She previously worked at VanCity Credit Union and with the Government of Ontario in the area of emergency management.
Chan works as a family physician at the Three Bridges Community Health Center, providing primary care and addiction medicine services to populations most at risk in downtown Vancouver. In addition, she teaches as a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UBC.
Both have work experience in community organizations. Ogundele, as the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Ethos Lab Educational Society, led a culturally focused innovation academy for young people aged 13-18. Ethos Lab intends to cultivate links between young people and innovators, enabling them to access new technologies and culture.
“Our overall goal is to empower young people to transform community and shape culture,” said Ogundele. “We center all of our programming around the humanity of the black experience, because we believe that when you create space for underrepresented communities, you are actually creating a more inclusive space.”
Chan is President and Chief Research Officer of Be the Change Group, a Vancouver-based population and public health consulting and creation firm created to address knowledge gaps in the public and population health sector. .
“[Be the Change Group] helps organizations – whether or not they are health authorities, nonprofits or global organizations – to truly understand their community and grow their programs to ensure they are having an impact . Chan said.
Ogundele and Chan were recognized for their excellence, with Ogundele receiving the City of Vancouver’s Black History Month Community Leader Award and Chan being awarded Business in Vancouver‘s Forty Under 40 Award.
Speaking about diversity on the board, both expressed its need.
“I am a cisgender black woman. And there are a lot of different identities wrapped up in this statement. But I’m also someone who has worked in the financial industry, and also a mom, who regularly interacts with the education system as a college graduate, ”Ogundele said. “So I think it’s really important that we all have a perspective on our positionality, in whatever sort of decision or conversation we might have.”
Chan said that a diversity of voices allows for a diversity of opinions.
“I think you can’t go wrong when you have input from various voices that [come from] different backgrounds, ”Chan said.
Chan said that while she couldn’t speak for everyone who identifies as East Asian, her appointment helps ensure there is a way forward for young people who do.
“Being able to see that they can have some power and the ability to make decisions or participate… I think that’s invaluable.