"What I see that's hopeful coming out of this pandemic is that I think we've revitalized our ability to work in solidarity." Lama Mugabo joins Below the Radar to speak to building community and solidarity, from Rwanda to Hogan's Alley. Lama is a Rwandan-born community organizer and planner with deep roots in the Downtown Eastside and the Black community in Vancouver. In this episode, Lama joins host Am Johal to speak to his work around reconstruction and community building Rwanda, following the genocide of 1994. A co-founder of Building Bridges with Rwanda, Lama talks about fostering awareness and international solidarity with Rwandans, Canadians, and the diaspora community. Having worked for decades in the Downtown Eastside community, Lama draws connections between his work internationally and locally. He shares his experiences of engaging community with Hogan's Alley Society around housing, discriminatory street checks, and rebuilding the once-thriving Black community that was displaced for the construction of the viaducts. Lama also speaks to how the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of the human right to housing, a need for increased welfare rates, and how growing food in community promotes health and connection.
Lama Mugabo is a Community Planner with twenty years of progressive leadership experience. In 2005, Mugabo co-founded BBR – Building Bridges with Rwanda, a non-profit organization designed to create a platform for collaboration between international volunteers and Rwandan people who are working to rebuild their society. At Hogan's Alley Society, Lama coordinates community engagement activities that offer opportunity for members of Diaspora, to build community locally and globally.Resources:— Hogan's Alley Society: www.hogansalleysociety.org/— Building Bridges with Rwanda: www.bbrwanda.org/— Carnegie Community Action Project: www.carnegieaction.org/— Raise the Rates: www.facebook.com/RaiseTheRatesBc/— SFU Institute of Diaspora Research & Engagement: www.sfu.ca/diaspora-institute.html— Remember Rwanda 25 Legacy Project: give.sfu.ca/ways-to-give/fund/rr25-legacy-project
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