British Columbia’s Black community is unique in Canada. Unlike other provinces, BC lacks Black “ethnoburbs”, or notable neighbourhood clusters of a particular ethnic minority population, partly a result of a systematic erasure of historical Blackness. With a dispersed population, there are also fewer Black people living in BC than other Canadian provinces. Just 1% of the BC population self-identified as Black in Canada’s 2016 census, in contrast to 3.5% of Canada’s total population. However, this does not mean that there is no Black community in BC. There is, in fact, a Black community with deep historical roots in the province along with Black people who have arrived more recently, creating a rich and diverse mix of peoples.
All diverse communities have unique housing needs; learning about each context helps develop deeper understanding of complex housing and social issues in the province. This online learning event will begin with an overview of the history of Black people in BC and the current demographic and sociocultural context for BC’s Black communities. A panel presentation will follow that will explore issues and opportunities related to housing, celebrating current programs in the province.
In addition to learning about these critical issues, the goal of this session is for participants to feel inspired to find innovative solution to better address the needs of Black people in regard to housing, with a special focus on opportunities for housing providers and service providers.
What you will learn:
- The historical patterns of immigration and settlement of Black people in BC
- Understand the current demographics and geographic distribution of BC’s Black population
- Assist housing providers and service providers in understanding issues of discrimination and systemic racism
- opportunities for housing providers in supporting BC’s Black Community
- highlights of successful programs and community efforts to celebrate
Warren Dean Flandez
Warren Dean Flandez is an educator, cultural facilitator, humanitarian, and award-winning, JUNO nominated musician. A graduate of Cornell University’s Diversity & Inclusion program, Warren is the founder of The Clear Umbrella (TCU), a full-service EDI consulting agency dedicated to creating safe space for meaningful change. A member of the faculty at Capilano University, and owner of multidisciplinary artist development company Studio Cloud 30, Flandez is also the co-founder of non-profit organization THIS (The Harmony Initiative Society). He has worked extensively with a variety of organizations, spanning municipal governments, school districts, law enforcement agencies, and cultural groups on EDI training, policy frameworks, and community-based initiatives.
Moussa Magassa, PHD, IDI.QA
Dr. Moussa Magassa is a specialist in equity, diversity, inclusion strategic development, anti-racism education, human rights curriculum design, program development, intercultural capacity development, and conflict resolution. Currently, he is the Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Mount Royal University.
Dr. Magassa is also an associate faculty in the UVic Social Justice Diploma program and in the M.A in Global Leadership program at Royal Roads University. He is also an instructor in the UVic diploma program in intercultural studies & practice and in the UBC Centre for intercultural communication. He holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (UVic) with special focus on critical race theory, Anti-racism education, Islamophobia, human rights education, diversity, equity & inclusion, and immigrants and refugees’ integration and adaptation in host communities. He also holds an MA in human security & peacebuilding (Royal Roads University, Canada); a BA (Hons) in conflict resolution and peace studies (Kwazulu Natal University, South Africa); a diploma in forced migration and refugee studies; and various advanced certificates in human rights and humanitarian law, conflict mediation, and intercultural communication and development.
Dr. Magassa is also a former advisor to various organizations: Resilience BC (anti-racism advisory and strategic planning committee); the academic and practitioner advisory committee for the Simon Fraser University’s Migrant Systems Change Leadership Certificate program; and also as the co-chair of the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee; and a board director on the Victoria Multifaith Society. Formerly, Moussa was an advisor to the National Immigration Table of Community Cooperation in Francophone immigration; former president of the francophone society of Victoria; and the Vancouver Island board director for the BC Francophone Federation.
Read BCNPHA’s Q&A interview with Dr. Magassa.
The co-founder of the Swahili Vision International Association, Jean-Claude Bakundukize is excited to speak about the innovative housing partnership in New Westminister: a 96-unit affordable housing development for Black and Indigenous families, Elders and individual, brought together by a partnership between the Swahili Vision International Association and the Aboriginal Land Trust. The development will be operated by Lu’ma Native Housing Society and the Swahili Vision International Association, with operational oversight provided by the Aboriginal Housing Management Association.
Genia Indoli grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and came to Canada as a student in 2012. A difficult relationship led to Genia becoming isolated and in fear of being deported if she reached out for help. When she ended the relationship and moved into a transition house, Genia was connected with healthcare, affordable housing, and many other supports. She is now a mother of three and lives in the YWCA’s Como Lake Gardens housing.