Racial Justice Curator Natasha Tony Brings Together Dynamic Panel

On October 28th from 7pm to 8:30pm PT, Reel Causes will host a racial justice conversation, with speakers selected by event curator Natasha Tony, and a musical performance by Dawn Pemberton.

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 discussion to explore the complexity of community, culture, and identity through the lens of restoration, connection, and compassion. Read more about the panelists below.

Get your tickets here for the event, including access to watch both Secret Vancouver: Return to Hogan’s Alley and Down a Dark Stairwell. Event details here. Recorded discussion will be available after October 28th.

Natasha Tony – Moderator and CEO, Elevate Inclusion Strategies

Natasha Tony is an acclaimed trainer, consultant, and leadership coach who has advanced the discussion on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) nationally and internationally. Prior to establishing Elevate, Natasha worked as a union representative specializing in labour relations. She is a sought-after thought leader and speaker on activism, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and is often invited to provide interpretative commentary on current events. Natasha is a graduate of the Labour Relations certificate program at Queen’s University and rounded out her education in mediation, negotiation and coaching at the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Ursula Liang – Down a Dark Stairwell Director

Ursula is a journalist-turned-filmmaker. She previously worked on staff at The New York Times Op-Docs, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI, StirTV, the Jax Show, Hyphen magazine and currently freelances as a film and television producer. She directed, produced and shot the award-winning film, 9-Man: A Streetball Battle in the Heart of Chinatown, which the New York Times called “an absorbing documentary.” Down a Dark Stairwell is her second feature as a director. Ursula is a Brown Girls Doc Mafia board member and belongs to A-DOC and Film Fatales. She has participated in film fellowships with Hedgebrook, Impact Partners, Firelight Media, Film Independent, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tribeca Film Institute, and the Investigative Reporting Program. She lives in the Bronx, NY. Ursula is not related to the officer in Down a Dark Stairwell.

Meenakshi Mannoe – Criminalization and Policing Campaigner, Pivot Legal Society

In her role at Pivot, Meenakshi works alongside her colleagues to envision intersectional approaches to ending the harms of policing and criminalization. Her work relates to the impact of policing on all aspects of Pivot’s campaigns. She is currently a board member for the Community Radio Education Society, programmer at Vancouver Coop Radio, and member of the Vancouver Prison Justice Day Committee and Defund 604 Network. Meenakshi is a Registered Social Worker.

Lama Mugabo – Director, Hogan’s Alley Society

Lama Mugabo is a community planner with a passion in social housing, food security, nutrition and wellness. 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 their Rwandan counterparts who are rebuilding their society. At Hogan’s Alley Society, Lama leads a community engagement project that provides opportunity for members of the diaspora, to build community, locally, and globally. At Nora Hendrix Place, Lama uses gardening, nutrition and wellness as a platform for learning exchange between tenants and members of the larger community, by taking action to becoming food secure, better nourished, and engaged in active living lifestyle.

Dawn Pemberton – Artist

Dawn Pemberton has deep musical roots that take her powerful voice from gospel and soul to jazz, funk and world music. She has become a staple of the Vancouver music scene and can often be found tearin’ it up as a vocalist, teacher, facilitator, choir director and “go to girl” for live performances and studio sessions.


Vince Tao – Community Organizer, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU)

Vince Tao was born in Scarborough, Ontario and lives in Vancouver, BC. He works as a community organizer at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. Prior to this, he worked as a labour organizer with the Teaching Support Staff Union at Simon Fraser University and as an educator and librarian in Vancouver’s Chinatown. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Vancouver Tenants Union.

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About Reel Causes Society

Reel Causes partners with filmmakers and Canadian causes dedicated to addressing global social justice issues. We host film screenings followed by a Q&A session to educate and inspire our community, and provide a forum for authentic conversation aroundF the issues that affect us locally.

City of Vancouver
SFU Woodwards
BC Arts Council
Consumer Protection BC
Creative BC