Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement

The SFU Institute of Diaspora Research & Engagement (IDRE), established in 2013, combines interdisciplinary research with community engaged research, and engages in innovative, responsive programming, collaborative dialogue and learning partnerships with the wider community. At its core, IDRE strengthens links between scholarly research, policy and practice related to multi-cultural diaspora and their role in building inclusive markets. Centre activities include advisory services to diasporic communities, training and the incubation of international economic and enterprise development projects in a lab setting.

Recent News


Thursday, November 4th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT


Panelists: Paola ArdilesJune Francis, Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh
Moderator: Bee Brigidi

More Info about how to join the event: The Unbounded Classroom - Faculty of Environment - Simon Fraser University (

Exhibit by black Diaspora Dash led by the black Diaspora.

A new exhibit at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria is showcasing the past and present experiences of Black British Columbians.

Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum, which opened on Aug. 14, was created in partnership with the B.C. Black History Awareness Society.

Located in the museum's Pocket Gallery, the exhibit reclaims the history and retells the stories of B.C.'s Black community through multimedia pieces.

Click the link to be directed to the news page. Watch the TV coverage below at about 17 minute mark: Link 


The message was sent on behalf of Joy Johnson, president and vice-chancellor.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. June Francis will serve as the Special Advisor to the President on Anti-Racism effective June 1 - December 31, 2021.  In this role, June will offer me advice and guidance on matters of anti-racism and institutional change with a focus on anti-Black racism as well as equity, diversity and inclusion. Working toward a more inclusive SFU is one of my priorities as president, and I rely on experts such as June to help identify the path forward and hold me accountable to progress. I extend my gratitude to June for accepting this commitment and for the lasting impact she continues to have both within SFU and within the broader community. 

RR25 Event 

Learn more about the event in the words of the event organizer, Lama Mugabo. 

Introduction to the RR25 Event

Interview with Mr. Mugabo

Victoria Announes Updates to Police Department

Victoria has announced updates to their police is what Professor Francis has to say.
View Clip on Twitter

June Francis' Interview with CTVNEWS: "Canadians should not be blind to racism in our own country"

June Francis, director of the B.C. school's institute for diaspora research and engagement and co-chair of the Hogan's Alley Society, spoke to CTV Morning Live on Monday, and said Canadians will often compare the situation here to the United States and overlook problems in our own country.

"Canadians like to say that we live in a colourblind society, but actually, I think we're just blind to racism here, and in some ways, this has made it far more insidious for us because Canadians often talk about it being south of the border, without acknowledging a deep history in Canada of racism," she said.

Click Here to Read More

The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn Podcast

June Francis of the Hogan's Alley Society, and Christopher Parker Washington political science professor respond to the unrest this past weekend.

Click Here to View the Full Episode

Vancouver's Rich Black history, The Lynda Steele Show: An Interview with June Francis

At one point in time, Vancouver had a thriving black population, centered in a community we now refer to as Strathcona. And, what we now know as the Georgia Viaduct, once belonged to a thriving Black community. It was called Hogan's Alley. Amir Ali and Professor June Francis explore this crucial piece of Vancouver's history.

Click Here to View the Full Episode

CBC Vancouver News Interview with June Francis

June Francis addresses her thoughts on police brutality and anti-black sentiments in Canada in this CBC news feature.

Click Here to View the Full Episode

June's Podcast with Michelle Eliot

Hogan's Alley Society co-chair June Francis discusses anti-police brutality protests after the deaths of George Floyd and Regis Korchinski-Paquet.

Click Here to View the Full Episode

Past Initiatives



RR25 Legacy Project

Let’s celebrate the resilience of Rwanda

November 6, 2019


Vancouver - Thursday, June 6, 2019, the Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement, in collaboration with Hogan’s Alley Society and Building Bridges with Rwanda hosted a dialogue on Rwanda, to commemorate 25 years of reconstruction and reconciliation after the devastating genocide that took the lives of more than a million people in only one hundred days.


Shahnaz Qayumi has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology and has taught extensively at universities and colleges in Kabul, Afghanistan and throughout British Columbia. A mentor to the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada and the producer of Caravan TV, a local Afghan language channel on OMNI Television, she is also a board member of Partnership Afghanistan Canada, a non-governmental organization. In addition to developing an ECE program for Family Empowerment of low-income families in North Delta, B.C., Shahnaz has also initiated a project in partnership with Kabul University to develop and deliver Early Childhood Education curriculum. The project engages experts from Partnership Afghanistan Canada, the University of BC and Kwantlen University College and aims to train more than 100,000 teachers and assistants in Afghanistan. Click Here to Read More


Canadian communication studies scholar and social philosopher Marshall McLuhan put us all in the Global Village, where willy-nilly, for better or for worse, we inhabitants are increasingly becoming interconnected, integrated, intermixed, intermingled, and interdependent. Whatever happens at one corner of the village affects all of us almost instantaneously. Click Here to Read More