Canada News

Handel Wright is Canadian Chair

11 September 2005 at 03:10 | 751 views

How do youth in Canada and the United States navigate issues of race, culture and national identity?

Handel Wright, a new UBC education professor, says incidents like the London bombings in July have made this question and others about race and cultural identity even more pressing.

“I believe similar questions related to multiculturalism and social cohesion are likely to be revived both here and in the
United States,” says Wright.

Originally from Sierra Leone, Wright completed his M.A. in English at the University of Windsor, an M. Ed. at Queen’s University and a Ph.D in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. For the past 10 years, Wright taught at the University of Tennessee where helped to create North America’s first named cultural studies of education program.

As Canada Research Chair, Wright is establishing the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education at UBC. The centre will focus on cultural studies and multiculturalism, forging international, national and community links.

Wright’s own research looks at complex new youth identities and compares multiculturalism in Canada with that of the U.S.

Focusing on mixed-raced, multilingual, immigrant, culturally hybrid, or multiethnic youth, Wright will compare how high school students in Vancouver and Seattle see themselves in relation to their peers, communities and countries.

Photo: Handel, a role model for Sierra Leoneans in Canada