BCBHAS Speaker Series

The BC Black History Awareness Society hosts a speaker event 4 times each year, generally in February, April, June and October. The speakers, their credentials and topics recognize the breadth and depth of the interests of our members, those who support us and the Boards steadfastness to fulfill our mandate. The speaker events are by donation, you do not need to pre-register.

Check back for details about our next Speaker Event

Speaker Series

TitleSpeakerDescription
True Black Strong and Free - Becoming Black in CanadaAnnie DjiotsaAnnie 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.
Greater Victoria Police and local ethno-culturesMichael RegisMichael 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
The Perspectives and Experiences of 2 visible minority Police OfficersPolice Officers2 police officers from Oak Bay Police Department with combined experience of more than 25 years. Both officers have 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.
Cultural Competency for Volunteers workshopSylvia MangueSylvia 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.
Climate Change, Racism - What's the Connection?Beth CruiseWith 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 will talk about the people and the work of ‘Sustaining All Life’, perspectives and tools on eliminating racism and racism’s connection to climate change.
Did You Say “Black” British Columbia? The Politics of Absent Presence between the Black Pioneers and Present Day African Refugees.Handel Kashope WrightHandel 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.
Songs and Stories ‘bout Slavery and the Underground Railroad (UGRR) Lonnie GlassSinger, song-writer, story-teller, Lonnie Glass. Lonnie’s two passions of music and history were ignited when he toured the southern United States in the 1980s. He has an insatiable appetite for history — it was only a matter of time before he combined his passion for music with his historical knowledge. Lonnie has played in bands, sang in bands and began writing songs in the late 80’s. He’s toured Canada and the U.S. and has recorded several CD’S in several genres from folk to blues.
Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for FreedomLonnie GlassSinger, song-writer, story-teller, Lonnie Glass tells the story of Lincoln's journey from his pre-Presidential political career through the Civil War to his untimely death at the hand of an assassin. Lonnie recorded “Chapter of Night” – an American Civil War Prospective in 2010, based on his research and tours in the Southern USA.
The Mystery of Grafton Tyler Brown: Race, Art and Landscape in 19th Century British ColumbiaDr. John LutzPresented by UVIC History Department Chair John Lutz, 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 will talk about the life of Brown and present examples of his work.
The History of Jamaica and its relationship with CanadaDr. Michael VaughnDr. Michael Vaughan, the Honorary Consul of Jamaica giving an informative and entertaining presentation about the History of Jamaica and its long relationship with Canada. The presentation includes information about a number of Jamaica’s most prominent citizens, past and present, including Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, and Usain Bolt.
Building Bridges through ArtMichelle JacquesMichelle Jacques, Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to present about her past projects in Toronto and her future plans here in Victoria
“You Had Better Be White by Six AM.” Sgt. Craig SmithSgt. 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.
Notable Black Women in Canadian History Merna ForsterIn celebration of Women's History Month in Canada, local historian and writer Merna Forster will give a presentation on notable Black women in Canadian history. She will share 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.
Blacks Today – History in the MakingMoussa MagassaMoussa Magassa, Human Rights Education Adviser from the University of Victoria.

"Growing Up in the South Sudan"William GoldietWilliam Goldiet, President of the African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island (AHAVI), sharing his story from growing up in South Sudan, to becoming a refugee and coming to Canada.
African-Canadian HistoryJanie Cooper-WilsonJanie 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; a regular contributor to the Northern Terminus African-Canadian Journal.
“Son of Africville” Justin CarterActor/play-writer Justin Carter performs his one-man show “Son of Africville”, an autobiographical story of his reunion with his mother in Africville, Nova Scotia.
"Go Do Some Great Thing"Crawford KilianCrawford Kilian, author of the book “Go Do Some Great Thing”, the story of BC's Black pioneers. Kilian shares his experiences in researching and writing this book.