Meet the Team
Cicely Belle Blain
Head B*itch in charge
Cicely Belle Blain is an equity, diversity and inclusion consultant, activist, public speaker and writer. Cicely Belle completed their Bachelor of Arts in Modern European Studies and Russian at the University of British Columbia where they were a recipient of the International Leader of Tomorrow Award scholarship and a finalist for the YWCA Young Women of Distinction Award.
After graduating in just 3.5 years, Cicely Belle co-founded Canada’s second Black Lives Matter chapter which garnered them much acclaim including being listed as one of Vancouver’s fifty most influential people of 2018 and again in 2020, as awarded by Vancouver Magazine. They were also a winner of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Youth Leadership Award in Social Movement Building for their commitment to anti-racism and LGBTQ+ activism.
Cicely Belle is an instructor in Executive Leadership at Simon Fraser University, the Editorial Director of Ripple of Change Magazine and the author of Burning Sugar (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020).
Cicely Belle loves:
Udokam Iroegbu is a Nigerian born and raised cis-gendered woman, living and working on unceded, stolen, traditional and ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples. This reality is one that Udokam uses to inform her anti-oppression, anti-colonial, Black feminist, queer, social justice work.
With a degree in civil engineering, Udokam works in transportation design at the City of Vancouver. Her work is centered around engaging with the public on several transportation projects with varying complexity and impacts. While doing this work, she invites colleagues to examine historical inequities and its legacy. This process brings about the re-imagining of a radical, more inclusive and equitable transportation network and travel experience. She participates and facilitates conversation that encourages people to come to terms with complex social structures/identities, in a way that preserves their dignity and ignites a desire for change.
As an organizer with Black Lives Matter Vancouver, Udokam advocates for the rights and lives of Black people, while standing in solidarity with the Indigneous people of Coast Salish Territory. In this capacity, Udokam is able to center the intersecting needs of Black people, where our population is low, and freedom often negotiated. She gathers, marches, strategizes, educates, fundraises, celebrates, dances, collaborates, and sings for our collective liberation
Udokam calls on the strength of her ancestors, and is inspired by the fierce radical love of all the women that raised her: her grandmother, mother, aunties, and the woman at the corner store that kept a watchful eye. She finds herself rejuvenated by the fierce, creative, supportive, resilient, and innovative femmes she's come to know and love. When all is said and done, Udokam’s best work, and favorite time, is spent with her friends and loved ones. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Attempting a new dish
Red soil on naked feet
Kevonnie is a Business Analyst at Vancouver Coastal Health. She is passionate about seeing people reach their full potential and does this through developing, implementing and managing the processes involved with improving peoples workplace experiences- especially the experiences of those most marginalized. When you don't see her at the gym, doing yoga, or hanging out with friends, you will find her active in the black community as she currently sits on the board of the National Congress of Black Women Foundation as well as the City of Vancouver Racial and Ethno-Cultural Advisory Committee.
Reading a good book in bed on a rainy day
vision and message Coordinator
Becca Schwenk is a diversity and inclusion consultant, entrepreneur, communications aficionado, and creative chameleon. She is all about deep and meaningful analyses of injustice, and innovative-solution-concoction. Her work is informed by lived experiences of cultural Judaism, gender fluid femme energy, anxiety, and survivorship.
Becca completed her bachelor’s degree at McGill University, where she majored in both Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, Feminism, and Social Justice studies. Here, she extended her solidarity with survivors as a Support Worker and Facilitator at the Sexual Assault Centre of McGill Students’ Society. Close to this realm, Becca conducted archival research for the West End Sex Workers Memorial History Project. A red-burning lamp post stands at Jervis and Pendrell, honouring the sex workers pushed out of the area, including the project’s lead and late legend Jamie Lee Hamilton.
In Melbourne, Becca was a key operational player at Shebah - the all women rideshare. She has led within anti-oppressive support centres and fast-paced feminist startups, and she doesn’t intend to stop shaking up the status quo any time soon. Her background in both business and nonprofit sectors has given her a uniquely complex lens, and well-versed air of compassion. You can frequently find Becca slipping social justice tidbits into everyday conversations; ready to engage free of judgement and full of empathy.