Black History Month: Hogan’s Alley Society Update

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Hogan’s Alley Society

BCNPHA is recognizing Black History Month with an update on the Hogan’s Alley Society.

Mission: To advance the social, political, economic and cultural well-being of people of African Descent (Black People) through the delivery of housing, built spaces, and culturally informed programming and operations.

Vision: A society in which people of African Descent are able to reach their full authentic potential, free from racism.

The Hogan’s Alley Society came into being to advocate for the rights of Black Vancouverites who have endured the legacies of urban renewal and their erasure from the official historical narrative. As part of a process of ‘daylighting’ blackness in Vancouver, we seek to provide a venue through which our voice can be heard.

History

Hogan’s Alley was the name given to the Vancouver neighbourhood where People of African descent lived during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Situated at the southwest corner of Strathcona, this was a tightly-knit community of labourers, entrepreneurs, and families with the heart of the community being the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel located on Jackson Avenue. The legacy of Black People in Strathcona has been documented in academic research, featured in media, commemorated on a Black History Month stamp and discussed in numerous accredited publications. As a result of the City of Vancouver’s years of willful neglect, the residents of Hogan’s Alley were pressured to leave the community and eventually urban renewal and slum clearance policies displaced the final remnants of the neighbourhood to construct the current Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts. This displacement has had an enduring impact on people of African Descent in the Vancouver region. As part of a process of ‘daylighting’ blackness in Vancouver, we seek to provide a venue through which our voice can be heard.

Temporary Modular Housing

  • The Hogan’s Alley Society is partnering with the Portland Hotel Society (PHS), the City of Vancouver and BC Housing to deliver a 52-unit temporary modular housing development on the Hogan’s Alley Block.
  • The development will prioritize Black and Indigenous people who are over-represented in the homeless population of the Downtown Eastside.
  • They will work collaboratively with PHS to ensure that the residents have access to culturally appropriate programming as a means to support their well-being.
  • This initiative advances the vision for the Hogan’s Alley Block towards the long-term goal of developing an asset-based model that can grow the capacity of racialized groups to participate in  city-building and reduce persistent economic, social, political inequalities.

Strategic Priorities

»» To realize the vision created by the Hogan’s Alley Working Group through the operation of a land trust on the historic site of Black Canadians in Vancouver.
»» To convene, cultivate and sustain African diaspora/Black culture and to create economic, political, social, and cultural assets for people of African Descent.
»» To construct spaces that promote inter‑generational linkages through community and affordability.
»» To build the capacity of racialized and marginalized communities to participate in city building.

Read more from CBC News

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