Podcast, Social Justice, Community

Episode 140: Community Building & Racial Justice — with Lama Mugabo

November 02, 2021
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“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.

About Our Guest

Lama Mugabo

​​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.

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Johal, Am. “Community Building & Racial Justice — with Lama Mugabo.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, November 2, 2021.


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