2023 Dr. Richard B. Splane Lecture in Social Policy

Monday March 27, 2023
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Reparations in Social Work: A Progressive Model for Change

Presented by the UBC School of Social Work and the UN Association of Canada (BC branch) 

Engage in a virtual discussion on how Black Canadians are entering a process of reparations, as part of the 2023 Richard B. Splane Lecture in Social Policy.


Black Canadians are owed reparations for the harms endured during enslavement and the harmful impacts that continue to haunt Black Communities. In this lecture, Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard address­es the often-asked question “How do we engage in meaningful reparations?” In 2020, the Canadian Association of Social Workers committed to enter a process of reparation with the Association of Black Social Workers. This historic commitment turned into an in-depth study guided by the three pillars set out by the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent and ultimately seven recom­mendations. Senator Bernard will explore ways in which this model of en­acting reparations may be used in other professions that have historically harmed Black Canadians.

Please register to receive the Zoom link:

Land Acknowledgement, Welcome & Closing Remarks: Miu Chung Yan, Professor and Acting Director, UBC School of Social Work

Background to the annual Splane Lecture, Introductions to Partners: Patsy George, Past President, United Nations Association in Canada, Vancouver Branch

Moderator: Tim Stainton, Professor, UBC School of Social Work; Director, Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship


The Honourable Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, C.M., O.N.S., Senator – Nova Scotia (East Pres­ton), is the first African Nova Scotian woman to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. Senator Bernard champions issues impacting African Canadians and people living with disabilities. She is particularly invested in human rights, employment equity, and mental health. Through her involvement in community projects, her social work career, her time with Dalhousie School of Social Work, and now her work in the Sen­ate, Senator Bernard has maintained a deep ded­ication to social justice and racial justice.

Donation Option

Since Senator Bernard cannot accept payment for speaking in her role as Senator, she suggests that your organization could instead make a donation to University of Calgary School of Social Work Leadership scholarship.

This talk will take place on the traditional, ancestral, and occupied territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking Musqueam peoples.