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Urshian Khalid joins Student Life

Urshian Khalid, Associate Director

In February, Urshian Khalid [Ursh] joined Student Life (SL) as Associate Director of the Multi-Faith Centre (MFC), where she will lead all aspects of its operations, services and programming. 
“I’m thrilled to have stepped into this role in Student Life, and from what I’ve gathered, into an exceptionally strong program in the MFC with such broad impact. It’s a great opportunity to continue enhancing the student experience,” says Urshian.  

“I’m deeply committed to supporting student wellbeing and success through curriculum, policy, process, and relationship building, as well as the programmatic, pedagogical and centered around the community. The MFC is perfectly poised in SL to provide students that community and to meet their needs.” 

At U of T’s MFC, she will lead the design and delivery of multi-faith and interfaith programs, services, and resources at the St George campus, while also acting as a resource for the broader U of T community across all three campuses on matters of religion, faith, and religious pluralism. 

Prior to joining SL, she was based at York University for more than a decade, most recently serving as Manager, Equity and Strategic Initiatives for Student Engagement. In this role, Urshian led and stewarded equity leadership, education and communication that advanced Student Engagement and the University’s collective commitment to decolonization, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Her deep advocacy for the minoritized student experience was vital in supporting students with care at York, as evidenced by the faith-based, intercultural dialogue across the different initiatives she led and advanced, with an emphasis on storytelling. Some of these programs include “Unlearning Hate,” and “Intersectional Futures,” as well as inaugural events that ended up becoming annual, such as York’s Community Iftar, in partnership with the Muslim Student Association, and the Community Hannukah Dinner, in partnership with Hillel York. These experiences have equipped her with wide-ranging perspectives to inform her ongoing work in this area, as well as multidimensional collaborations from which to draw for future partnerships and projects. 

Additionally, Urshian held several other roles at York in student leadership development, residence life, and varsity athletics, and she developed scaffolded programs that offered many trainings and workshop sessions across the institution for diverse audiences, which included students, staff, and faculty. 

She also led institutional, equity, diversity, and inclusion-focused projects that addressed a range of issues, including anti-Black racism, 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, and access. 

Urshian earned a Specialized Honours BA in Kinesiology and Health Science, a Bachelor and a Masters’ in Education from York, where she focused on language, culture, and teaching. She also completed a graduate diploma in Education in Urban environments and is certified with the Ontario College of Teachers.  

“The Associate Director role at MFC stands on a very strong curriculum, with intentional, collaborative relationships in the community, and uses an intersectional, creative, arts-based approach to tell compelling stories,” says Urshian.  

“The curriculum also lends itself to meaningful dialogue and creates affirming spaces for students who are exploring questions of meaning, purpose, and identity, with or without and beyond faith – this is particularly important and exciting to me, as I think about questions of strategy, campus partnerships, and student success.”