By Jessica Gillies
As he settles into his new position as UVic’s human rights educator, Moussa Magassa is most looking forward to helping people work together.
“I see my role as someone trying to work with everyone in the university as a communication facilitator,” he says. “I’m the kind of person who always thinks that there’s an alternative solution when there’s a relationship with a problem.”
Magassa has an extensive history of helping people work out their problems. He earned a bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution in South Africa, where he worked in the field of demilitarization and peace education. Then he earned a master’s degree in human security and peace building at Royal Roads University.
Most recently, Magassa worked with an immigrant servicing agency in Vancouver, helping immigrants and refugees settle in and adapt to Canadian culture. He designs and teaches workshops for community agencies on intercultural communication, conflict resolution, anti-racism and diversity and communications and human rights. He also facilitates courses at UBC’s Centre on Intercultural Communication and does mediation work for Family Services in Vancouver.
“I’ve always been attracted to the relationships between people and how to help them,” he says. “I like learning more about the challenges that people face and how they can connect.”
Magassa will work with the equity and human rights team to raise awareness of human rights issues in order to increase diversity and create fairer and more inclusive work and study environments at UVic. He will provide information, advice and training to the university community, develop working relationships with other departments and groups, and make sure everyone at UVic is fully informed of policies to prevent and address all forms of discrimination and harassment.
Magassa plans to set up workshops about human rights, discrimination, harassment and other related issues. He says he looks forward to having people come talk to him about any problems he can help with.
“It’s quite exciting to look ahead. This will be a great opportunity not only for me to share what I know, but for people to teach me things, which I will appreciate.”
Magassa can be reached at 472-4114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.