Sandra was born and raised in Nigeria, she has been settling, working, and growing in Coast Salish Territories for over 9 years. When she is not dazzling you with her unprecedented sense of humour, or her OH I KNOW I CAN DANCE moves, she is actively working with the black community in Vancouver to dismantle white supremacy and the patriarchal society we live in. With an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, Sandra has a passion for sustainable engineering practices and how that intermingles with social justice. Sandra was part of the team that designed an approved Active Travel Plan for the City of Vernon as part of their 2020 vision. She was also nominated as Woman of the Year in Leadership at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus. If you're lucky, you'll be amazed at the ease that she switches her accent back to home, with excitement - this ability to adapt and be a chameleon is one of her favourite strategies to survival in Vancouver as a Black woman.
Visiting the Motherland
Being a plant mom
Diversity & Inclusion Educator
Becca Schwenk is a diversity and inclusion educator, communications aficionado, and creative chameleon. She is all about disruptive entrepreneurship and intersectional innovation. Becca completed her bachelor’s degree at McGill University, where she majored in both Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, Feminism, and Social Justice studies. She has worked in anti-oppressive support centres and fast-paced feminist startups, and she doesn’t intend to stop shaking up unjust structures any time soon. You can frequently find her casually slipping intersectional tidbits into everyday conversations with a cheeky smile; ready to engage free of judgement and full of empathy.
Deep and Meaningfuls
Mariana Trujillo-Lezama (pronounced mah•re•anah) is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Cali, Colombia, now based and creating work on the ancestral and occupied traditional lands of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Watuth, Sechelt and Squamish Nations of the Coast Salish peoples, now known as Vancouver, British Columbia.
With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art & Design, the artist’s practice is greatly based on introspection, exploring personal and collective identity politics through performance, printmaking, painting and collage both analogue and digital. Simultaneously, the artist has developed a rich written practice, informed by her training in social sciences, gender studies, and the observation and interrogation of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism in America, specifically in Colombia and Canada.
“Who am I and how did I come to be? What am I and to who? What places and which circumstances forged the multiple identities I embrace and/or reject everyday? Are these identities expressions that come from within, inherent to my being, the country I was born in, the one I was raised at or the one I immigrated to? Which of these are an expression of the consequences and effect of the past and current systems that rule and move the different societies I’ve been or I’m a part of? Is my gender my identity? Is my language my identity? Is my body, my face, my hair, my artwork, my identity? Is my legal status my identity? Where do I belong? Are the multiple communities I consider myself a part of, my identity?”
These are some of the questions the artist’s practice explores and seeks to answer.
Having lived and studied in Los Angeles, CA as well, the artist has navigated society as a femme queer immigrant in major cities across America, an experience deeply reflected in her work.
Highly committed to the multiple communities she is a part of, the artist is also an advocate for equality and social change through the exercise of Anti-oppression values, working alongside nonprofit organizations such as Feminicides Colombia, Soñadores Siloé and New Works Dance, in addition to her work for Cicely Blain Consulting, causing her art practice to evolve into community work and activism and vice versa.