Speaker Series

Speaker Annie Djoitsa - True Black Strong and Free


True Black Strong and Free - Becoming Black in Canada


Annie Djoitsa

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Annie Djiotsa was born in Cameroon. She has been living in Canada for over 25 years. She has been working as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces for nearly 20 years. Annie will share her story - a story of darkness and light. A story of peace and war. Mostly a story of strength, love, and hope. (2018-06-24)

BCBHAS Heritage Day February 2018

Greater Victoria Police and local Ethno-cultures

Michael Regis

Michael Regis shared his graduate work on local police and local ethno-cultures of African-Caribbean, Indigenous, Muslim and Chinese.  Michael holds a Masters in Dispute Resolution, University of Victoria. His research with the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee (GVPDAC) and Victoria ethno-cultural communities is engaging and thought-provoking.  Key points covered the negative and positive experiences and perceptions with the police and community concerns, vulnerabilities and recommendations for the Greater Victoria Police in trust-building best practices.  The report “Policing in Greater Victoria: A Study in Addressing the Gaps in Engaging Greater Victoria's Diverse Communities (2017)”  can be found on the GVPDAC website. (2018-02-18)

2 police officers standing on either side of event poster

The Perspectives and Experiences of 2 visible minority Police Officers

Officers Davindar Dalep and Alex Omoding

These police officers from Oak Bay Police Department have combined experience of more than 25 years; with experience in various departments within the police force such as School Resource Officer, Community Liaison Officer and Homicide investigations as well as the RCMP. Both officers attend the Greater Victoria Diversity Committee as Oak Bay departmental representatives. (2017-10-15)

Speaker Silvia Mangue Cultural Competency for Volunteers

Workshop: Cultural Competency for Volunteers

Silvia Mangue

Sylvia Mangue,  Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Human Resources; postgraduate diploma in Intercultural Education, BCBHAS Director and was elected as President of the Society in 2017, This workshop focuses on the management of social interactions with diverse people in everyday life.   As a human resources specialist, Sylvia seeks to create models of diversity in the area of human resources that can be used by organizations seeking a more just and equitable workplace. (2016-06-12)

Speaker Beth Cruise Climate Change, Racism and the UN Conference in Paris

Climate Change, Racism.  What's the Connection?

Beth Cruise

With slides and conversation, Beth Cruise, MA at the University of Alberta, Founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Earth Institute, a certified Teacher, and a Journal Editor for the international organization, Sustaining All Life (SAL), BCBHAS Director and Treasurer; presented details about her trip to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris as a delegate with the non-profit organization ‘Sustaining All Life’.  This organization, to which Beth has been a member for 20 years, presented thirty-two workshops, forums, listening projects and caucuses there.  She talked about the people and the work of ‘Sustaining All Life’, perspectives and tools on eliminating racism and racism’s connection to climate change.(2016-04-17)

Speaker Handel Koshop Wright Did you sat "Black" British Columbia?

Did you say "Black" British Columbia? The Politics of Absent Presence between the Black Pioneers and Present Day African Refugees

Handel Kashope Wright

Handel Kashope Wright, Professor and Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education, University of British Columbia.  Wright addresses the purpose and effects of erasing a substantial part of Black history. He also names the projects that document Twentieth Century Black BC.  There is an urgent need to strongly assert that Black Lives Matter, in historical, contemporary, geographical and political terms, despite constituting a small percentage of the BC population. (2016-02-13)

Speaker Paul Winn - The Black Experience in Canada

The Black Presence in Canada

Paul Winn

Paul Winn’s career experience includes Lawyer, Staff Liaison with the Multiculturalism Committee in the BC Law Society and Senior Staff at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation; at the Multiculturalism Secretariat; at the Affirmative Action for Visible Minorities Services; at the National Literacy Secretariat; and the Anti- Discrimination Directorate. He wrote and hosted “The Canadians” a weekly television program which looked at the various multicultural communities that make up Canadian society. The focus of the show was to emphasize the similarities shared by all Canadians regardless of background or ethnicity. Paul has won a variety of awards and certificates of appreciation for his work on race relations. He talked about Black individuals, groups, and organizations across Canada; historical perspectives and concerns for the present. (2015-10-18)

Speaker Dr. John Lutz - Grafton Tyler Brown - Pioneering Black Artist

The Mystery of Grafton Tyler Brown: Race, Art and Landscape in 19th Century British Columbia.

Dr. John Lutz

 Dr. John Lutz is Chair, History Department, University of Victoria; writer and art historian. Grafton Tyler Brown was a cartographer, lithographer, and painter and is considered the first professional Black artist, working and living at the time largely in the Pacific North West as well as British Columbia and California.  Dr. Lutz talked about the life of Brown here and in the United States and presented examples of his work.  2015-02-15).  Read more about Brown on our website.

Event Poster with image of Dr. Vaughn and event details

The History of Jamaica and it's relationship with Canada.

Dr. Michael Vaughn

Dr. Michael Vaughan, the Honorary Consul of Jamaica gave an informative and entertaining presentation about the History of Jamaica and its long relationship with Canada. The presentation included information about a number of Jamaica’s most prominent citizens, past and present, including Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, and Usain Bolt. (2014-10-19)

Building Bridges Through Art

Michelle Jacques

Michelle Jacques, Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presented details about her projects in Toronto and her plans for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. (2014-04-27)

Speaker Sgt.Craig Smith "You'd Better Be White By 6 AM"

"You Had Better Be White by Six A.M."

Sgt. Craig Smith

Sgt. Craig Smith, RCMP Officer from Nova Scotia, who has been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) since 1997.  However, he is best known as an author and for his activities on behalf of youth and Black history. (2014-02-16)

Rosemary Brown Commemorative Stamp

Notable Black Women in Canadian History

Merna Forster

In celebration of Women's History Month in Canada, local historian and writer Merna Forster spoke about notable Black women in Canadian history. She shared stories and images of some of the Black women featured in her books, from the first female police officer in North America to the first woman to found, publish and edit a newspaper in Canada.  (2013-10-20)

Blacks Today - History in the Making.

Moussa Magassa

Moussa Magassa, Human Rights Education Advisor from the University of Victoria.  (2013-06-16)

"Growing Up in the South Sudan"

William Goldiet

William Goldiet, President of the African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island (AHAVI), shares his story from growing up in South Sudan, to becoming a refugee and coming to Canada.(2013-04-21)

Speaker John Adams Victoria’s Black Pioneers in the 1860’s and Sir James Douglas.

Victoria's Black Pioneers in the 1860's and Sir James Douglas.

John Adams

John Adams is an historian, author, founder, and owner-operator of Discover the Past, a history company in Victoria BC that specializes in research, writing, presentations and walking tours. For 17 years, until his retirement in 2004, John was the regional manager for southwestern British Columbia and Vancouver Island for the Heritage Branch, responsible for the overall management of thirteen historic sites. He holds a Masters of Museology, University of Toronto.
As a member of the Old Cemeteries Society, John co-leads the BC Black History Ross Bay Cemetery Tour every February. John has a natural style that is lively and humorous which makes his presentations a memorable experience. (2013-02-02)

b&w grainy newspaper image portrait of soldier wearing capr

Blacks in the Canadian Military

Bart Armstrong

Bart Armstrong, Military Research Specialist.  He served in 3 different regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves; after 17 years. service he retired as a Master Warrant Officer. His presentation, in honour of Remembrance Day, focuses on Blacks in the Military in Canada. (2012-11-18)

Speaker Janie Cooper-Wilson African-Canadian History

African-Canadian History

Janie Cooper-Wilson

Janie Cooper-Wilson, artist, author and speaker on African-Canadian history. She has been featured in made-for-television documentaries such as, Bloodlines: Famous Last Words and Raise the Spirit; written two full-length historical publications; is a regular contributor to the Northern Terminus African-Canadian Journal. (2012-09-23)

Crawford Kilian - Author Go Do Some Great Thing

"Go Do Some Great Thing"

Crawford Kilian

Crawford Kilian, author of the book “Go Do Some Great Thing - The Black Pioneers of British Columbia"   Kilian shares his experiences in writing the 1st edition, published in 1978 and what compelled him to publish the 2nd edition in 2008. (2011-02-05)