CHF BC is honoured to have Djaka Blais (she/her) the Executive Director, and Udokam Iroegbu, Director of Special Projects, from the Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS) speak at our annual general meeting on November 20, 2022.
Djaka Blais (she/her) is a seasoned bilingual social sector leader with 18 years of experience in philanthropy, government, and community mobilizing.
Djaka is the inaugural Executive Director of Hogan’s Alley Society, a Vancouver-based non-profit focused on advancing the social, political, economic, and cultural well-being of people of African descent (Black People) through the delivery of inclusive housing, built spaces, and culturally informed programming. She is a founding member of the Foundation for Black Communities, the first philanthropic foundation for Black communities in Canada and a fellow with SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.
Djaka is now a guest on the unceded and occupied ancestral lands of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Stó:lō, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.
Udokam Iroegbu is a self-motivated community organizer, educator, facilitator, and activist with over four years of experience advocating for the rights and liberation of racialized and marginalized communities.
The Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS) advocates for Black Vancouverites who have endured the legacies of urban renewal and their erasure from the official historical narrative. Through their initiatives they hope to build the capacity of racialized and marginalized communities to participate in city building.
It is a non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia. HAS adopts research driven approach to community development that seeks to preserve and promote the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions made by Black Settlers and their descendants to Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
With this history in the archives, HAS is in process of developing partnerships with local government and business interests to acquire and develop land and operate assets as a community land trust.
The present day Hogan’s Alley Society is predominantly the product of two community lead initiatives: the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project (HAMP) and the Hogan’s Alley Land Trust (HAT).