Panel: The impacts of racial discrimination on racially visible members’ mental health

June 7, 2022

5:30 PM - 7 PM

Zoom - register at the link

Racism and discrimination are fundamental causes of mental health issues racially visible members face.

Please join the PSAC BC Racially Visible Caucus as we bring to the forefront critical issues facing racially visible workers as voiced by those too often silenced. Don’t miss this special interactive presentation with special guest speakers as their share personal and lived experiences of discrimination and its impacts on their mental health.

  • Register at Zoom and join us on June 7th to engage in these important dialogues with our panelists. Feel free to share this with your network and community.

All PSAC members are invited – we look forward to seeing you all there for this important discussion!

Guest Speakers

Kristina Maclean will talk about her lived experience and share the impact of the systemic discrimination she experienced.

Harinder Mahil and Karine Ng will be answering the question “How has the pandemic impacted Anti-Asian Racism? And how are our leaders addressing these challenges and making meaningful changes to increase safety in our communities and workplaces?”

Michael Van Nen, Field Coordinator, PSAC Joint Learning Program will be shedding light on racial discrimination and its impacts on Racialized members’ mental health, giving coping strategies, and providing tools for resiliency.

Kristina Maclean

My name is Kristina MacLean, I am a survivor of institutionalized systemic intersectional discrimination. With the help of the union, I have been able to find my voice and even came forward on the National News. I am a member of the SV and Common’s table bargaining teams. Kristina is also the President of the Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee, and Vancouver Island Regional Women’s Committee

It is a mission for me & the team to have a facilitated, led and mandatory intersectional discrimination article included in the common language of the Collective Agreements. I am sharing my unsanitized story of working in a culture which promoted racism, and gender hate, the breakdown of both my self-esteem and mental health, the fallout and implications to my family and my continued journey into living in the green, creating a growth mindset, and moving from being a victim to a survivor, and finally a warrior. I did this using the Cup of T.E.A. Approach, Therapy, Education & Accountability. It is my hope that others who feel they do not have a voice will hear my story and feel that they too can come forward regardless of the stigma associated with racism and mental health. The importance of these wholistic conversations for both the racialized workers and the non racialized workers cannot be overlooked any more. The time is now. In harmony with each other we can uncover and abolish the systemic barriers that exist today in too many workplaces, and with it, hopefully, reduce the impact to many workers who are sadly, suffering in silence. #ActivateActivism #Speakup&SpeakOut .

Harinder Mahil

Harinder Mahil has been an anti-racist and human rights activist since 1970’s. Over the last 50 years, he has worked for the New Westminster local of the International Woodworkers of America (IWA), Province of British Columbia and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).

He was one of the founders of the BC Organization to Fight Racism (BCOFR) and the Canadian Farmworkers’ Union. He has served as Chair of the British Columbia Council of Human Rights from 1992-1997 and Deputy Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission from 1997 to 2002. He was acting Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission when the previous liberal government of British Columbia decided to dismantle the Commission.

Mr. Mahil was a member of the Canadian delegation to the 1993 United Nations’ World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna. 

He has recently retired from his position as Team Lead, Labour Relations with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, a union representing professionals employed by the government of Canada. 

Since 2011, he has been a board member of the Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation for South Asian Advancement. Earlier this year he was elected as president of the West Coast Coalition Against Racism (WCCAR), a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to positive change in the struggle against racism.

Karine Ng: School Teacher/Activist-ACLA member

I humbly acknowledge that I am an uninvited guest unlearning and relearning on the stolen, occupied and joint territories of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.  I am a K-12 public school teacher, a union activist, and a community organizer.  Outside of the classroom, I can be found doing anti-oppression work through my roles within the BC Teachers Federation and the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance.  Decolonizing structures and epistemology is a life-long pursuit of mine.  As a firm believer of liberation and transformative justice, I endeavour to practice radical love in all my relationships, as an educator, social agent, daughter, auntie, sister, and friend.

Michael Van Nen

Michael Van Nen: Regional Field Coordinator, Joint Learning Program (JLP)

I am a first generation Canadian of Vietnamese-Samoan heritage, whose family settled on this land in 1981.  Growing up, I was immersed into a Christian-based religion, and saw the effects of religion work to define my identity, rather than discover my identity.  15 years after leaving the religion, I am still on a personal journey of healing the wounds inflicted in my childhood and adolescence, both systemic and institutionalized.  Throughout my journey, I have discovered that helping others has brought me the most joy in life.  That joy led me to get involved with my local, which eventually led to my current position working full-time for the Joint Learning Program, a role which continues to influence my life journey and helps to affect change amongst our facilitators and participants of the program.

In recent months, I have been performing and participating in the queer art form of drag.  Drag is a uniquely queer art form that decolonizes gender by raising up artists into positions of power and leadership within our communities.  It is an empowering community where I have seen acceptance for Queer, BIPOC, and gender-diverse individuals.  Drag has been my personal catalyst in reconnecting with my cultural identity, one that is not defined by anyone but myself.  It is my hope that we can all practice everyday Activism in our own unique ways and be examples of change in our communities.