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Asian Faculty and Staff Community Network

Who we are

The Asian Faculty and Staff Community Network is made up of faculty and staff who self-identify as Asian (inclusive of all 48 countries on the continent of Asia) and who have come together with shared values of mutual respect, international inclusion, collaboration and community, and advocacy and education. 

  • Mutual respect | Ensuring we are being inclusive of Asians across ethnicity, race, ability, gender and sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, class, religion, creed, citizenship, etc.
  • Intentional inclusion | Adopting a model of shared responsibility to create welcoming, supportive and respectful environments.
  • Collaboration and community | Supporting and collaborating with individuals, groups and teams to leverage our strengths and gifts for collective benefit.
  • Advocacy and education | Putting in action our privilege and power to advocate for members of racialized communities, combat racism and oppression, and educate our community and beyond the university.

The group was formed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The visible rise in anti-Asian racism over the last two years and tragic incidents like the mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, brought about a collective desire for support, connection and community with fellow Asian peers.


Chau-Anne Nguyen (she/her)
Career Education Specialist 
Career, Co-op & Student Success Centre

What we do

As a network, we strive to:

  • Foster community and belonging among those who identify with the diverse Asian communities at the university in order to create opportunities for solidarity, networking and mentoring for our members.
  • Advocate, agitate and inspire university leadership and members to combat anti-Asian racism, as well as establish and maintain safer and more inclusive spaces for Asian and all racialized students, faculty and staff.
  • Create, develop and promote educational tools and events that advance knowledge of lived experiences of Asian communities within and beyond the university.

Past community events and initiatives

March 13, 2023 | Alan Shepard EDI Awards

On March 13, 2023, the Anti-Asian Racism Awareness team was awarded the Alan Shepard EDI Award in the team category. The team of passionate staff worked to fight against anti-Asian racism and to celebrate Asian-Canadian identities, culture and history at the university. They have been central in the creation of networks of support and affirmation within the TMU community, and they have striven to support inclusivity and understanding by highlighting historical context (both the good and the troubling) and further revealing the persistent problem of anti-Asian racism sentiments to the university and even the broader local community. The team included members of the Asian Faculty and Staff Community Network: 

  • Gabriel Ciufo, Office of the President
  • Janet Lum, Faculty of Arts
  • Josie Lee, Office of the General Counsel and Board Secretariat
  • Josel Angelica Gerardo, Faculty of Arts
  • Melissa Yu Vanti, Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion
  • Yumi Numata, Faculty of Arts
  • Wincy Li, Student Affairs

March 30, 2023 | Self-Care in an Asian Context: A conversation on culture, community and contradictions

An event poster of a past event, titled Self-Care in an Asian Context: A Conversation on Culture, Community and Contradictions

On March 30, the TMU gathered for an event on self-care in an Asian context. The conversation touched on the intersectional lived experiences of Asian people in Canada, which is both complicated and can hold many contradictions. Panelists discussed how racism, misrepresentation in the media and being held up to the "model minority myth" has hurt many members of the Asian community. Despite progress, the pandemic's rise in anti-Asian sentiments have brought to life the complicated relationship that Asians have with self-care, and the nuanced ways it intersects with culture and community.

Talented panelists shared their insights and strategies on self-care, and how prioritizing our own mental well-being also allows us to collectively care for each other.  

Panelists include:

  • Iman Grewal, Mental Health Advocate and Wellness Expert, Founder of YogaVedaIman
  • France Stohner, Diasporic Community Organizer and Mental Health Counsellor
  • Christen Kong, Social Worker and Health Promoter (stepped in for Matthew Pi)

May 10, 2023 | Tour of Scotiabank Photography Award: Jin-me Yoon

A group of people at an art gallery looking at art displays with collages of people

Members of the Asian Faculty and Staff Community Network partnered with the Image Centre to host a private tour of the exhibit: "Scotiabank Photography Award: Jin-me Yoon", featuring the first person who identifies as Asian to win the prestigious award.

November 8, 2023 | Luncheon

A diverse group of Asian people

The Asian Faculty and Staff Community Network gathered on November 8, 2023 for its first in-person event since the creation of the network in 2020 (during the COVID-19 pandemic). The event offered a space for members to connect and network.

Additional initiatives

  • The network participates annually in Asian Heritage Month events in honour and celebration of Asian culture, community and contributions.
  • The network supports new employee orientation sessions by providing new TMU faculty and staff with an overview of the network. 

Get in touch 

To get in touch, get involved and learn more about the Asian Faculty and Staff Community Network and our work, please email