Down a Dark Stairwell

Film available October 14th to November 4th | Panel discussion October 28th from 7pm to 8:30pm PT

Connection to community is vital to human existence.

Trailer | Cause | Viewing Instructions | Buy Tickets

When Akai Gurley, an unarmed Black man, is killed in a darkened stairwell of a New York City housing project by a Chinese-American police officer, Peter Liang, it sets off a firestorm of emotion and calls for accountability. When Liang becomes the first NYPD officer convicted of an on duty shooting in over a decade, the fight for justice becomes complicated, igniting one of the largest Asian-American protests in history and disrupting a legacy of solidarity.

At the intersection of two marginalized communities with parallels in Vancouver, this film will be the launching point for a conversation with event curator and moderator Natasha Tony (Elevate Inclusion Strategies), Ursula Liang (Director // no relation to Peter Liang), Meenakshi Mannoe (Pivot Legal Society), Lama Mugabo (Hogan’s Alley Society), Dawn Pemberton (Artist) and Vince Tao (Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users).

Connection to community is vital to human existence. Preserving and rebuilding communities continuously threatened by systemic discrimination is at the centre of this moderated panel discussion. We will discuss the impacts of class, racism and hate, violence, and denial and exclusion of the Black and Asian communities in downtown Vancouver.

Join this dynamic discussion to explore the complexity of community, culture, and identity through the lens of restoration, connection, and compassion.

The short film Secret Vancouver: Return to Hogan’s Alley will screen prior to Down a Dark Stairwell.

Read more about the amazing panelists and musical guest Dawn Pemberton here.


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The Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS) is a non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia. HAS adopts research driven approach to community development that seeks to preserve and promote the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions made by Black Settlers and their descendants to Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and Canada. With this history in the archives, HAS is in process of developing partnerships with local government and business interests to acquire and develop land and operate assets as a community land trust.

The present day Hogan’s Alley Society is predominantly the product of two community lead initiatives: the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project (HAMP) and the Hogan’s Alley Land Trust (HAT).

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1. Purchase a ticket here or by clicking on the Get Tickets section.
2. Check the Additional Info section of your confirmation email from Universe. It contains your receipt, along with details on how to access the film and panel discussion.
3. Down a Dark Stairwell will be available from October 14th to November 4th.
4. Live panel discussion on October 28th from 7pm to 8:30pm PT.

City of Vancouver
BC Arts Council
Canada Council for the Arts
SFU's Vancity Office of Community  Engagement
Consumer Protection BC