Capilano Universe: What's so "Safe" about "Safe Spaces" in Education, Workplaces & Communities?

Join us for the Capilano Universe Lecture series!

Educators have described their classes and institutions as “safe spaces” with increasing frequency and certainty since the 1990s. This certainty, a safe space somehow being better for learning outcomes, has been adopted by workplaces and the greater community with little to no critical consideration of what exactly is meant when we claim a place to be a safe space.
The purpose of this talk is for participants to consider what is meant:
  1. when they claim a specific place is a safe space (i.e., classroom, office, workplace, online forum, etc.), and conversely,
  2. when they hear this from others (i.e., teacher, employer, colleague, etc.).
By the end of this talk, participants will be better able to explain their obligations to others when they welcome them to a safe space, as well as the implicit promises others make when a place or situation is labeled a safe space.
Registration is required. For more information, call 604-987-4471, ext. 8175.

This meeting will be held on Zoom. What you’ll need to attend: a computer with microphone (or headphones) and webcam, or your smartphone/tablet.

Interested in more events like this? View the full 2023 Capilano Universe Lecture Series


About the Presenter

Bhuvinder Vaid (he, him, his), PhD, also goes by his nickname “Beev” to friends, colleagues and students. He joined the Capilano University community in October 2021 as an Educational Developer with the Centre for Teaching Excellence. In this role, he has worked with fellow educators and staff to further develop inclusive and welcoming teaching environments throughout the learning communities served by CapU.
Bhuvinder received his PhD from Simon Fraser University in 2022, after successfully defending his dissertation titled, "What Do We Mean When We Talk about 'Safe Space'"? A Philosophical Exploration of a Contentious Metaphor in Education.
This research drew upon his own extensive experience, and subsequent challenges, as a university student and instructor, as well as his experience working in industry as a consultant aiding businesses facing challenges arising from increasingly diverse client and employee groups.
Having also published on learning spaces, technology adoption, and online training and learning, Bhuvinder’s philosophy background has resulted in his focus upon an instructor’s / employer’s intended goal, versus the (mis)understanding of students / employees / clients in their practice. He seeks to better align these intensions to practices.




Thursday, April 20, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:45pm


  • Teens
  • Adults