"CELEBRATING ONENESS THROUGH DIVERSITY"
From the beginNing
Where we are now
SFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry (SOCA) formerly known as African Caribbean Heritage Students Association (ACHSA) was started in 1994 to bring together students of Black, African, and African Descent to promote the acceptance of the varied African Diasporic and Afro-Canadian culture at SFU.
SOCA is run by the Membership through General Meetings, and the Executive Team are the stewards in between those meetings and is bound by the SFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry.
Constitution: PDF | SOCA Manual: PDF
We currently serve as a safe space for students on campus, especially Black students on campus who find it hard to be fully accepted in the fabric of the school community. We allow for a flourishing of self-identity and provide resources for students to learn about our experiences
After years of advocacy, SOCA continues to have space on campus since 1994, and has moved to SUB RM1430 to continue to serve the community and allies.
past events and Experiences
history of soca
- In Spring 1994, The first publicized meeting of the Black Students Association (BSA), shortly after being renamed to Association for Students of African Descent (ASAD).
- ASAD organized Black Jeopardy, Black History Month events, Lecture Series and had regular meetings in different locations, and published articles in the Peak about being black at SFU.
- In 1995, ASAD, in conjunction with SFPIRG, has set up information booths to help bring attention to the impending execution Mamia Abu Jamal(prominent journalist and black activist put on death row) to highlight the justice systems unequal treatment of crime and the media portrayal of black men.
- In 1997, we fought for SFU to hire Black professors and in 1998, Two Black professors Dr. June Francis and Professor James Busumtwi-Sam were then hired to SFU.
- In 1997, SOCA was allocated permanent space in the Rotunda Community alongside First Nations Students Association and Out on Campus joining groups such as SFPIRG, CJSF, and Women Center
- In 1998, we brought Molefi Kete Asante, renowned Professor of African American Studies
- In 2001, we raised funds for Mozambique Floods that claimed the lives of 700 people.
- In Fall 2003, we changed our name to African Caribbean Heritage Students Association (ACHSA).
- In 2006, we held a rally and raised money for the Canadian Students for Darfur to the Crisis in the Darfur Region in Sudan
- In 2008, we alongside the SFU Museum of Archeology and Ethnology partnered for a large display for Black History Month for the launch of the Museum's African Section
- In 2010, We raised money that went to Doctors without Borders towards the Recovery from the Earthquake in Haiti.
- In 2013, We organized a large symposium on racism, discrimination and social equity with speakers such as Nadine Chambers, Dr. Andy Mtambo, Mr. Hanore Gdedze, Mr. Jerry Gbardy, Ms. Danice Denomme and Jeanne Nzeiemana.
- In 2013, We instituted a semesterly scholarship for the Black Community at SFU.
- In 2015, We changed our name to SFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry (SOCA)
- In 2016, we organized a Black History Month Open Session with the BCGEU, themed #SpeakUp2017 where we tasked attendees to talk up against oppression in the workplace and academia via a movie showing, poetry pieces and art exhibition.
- In 2018, We brought a myriad of speakers such as Stephanie Allen, Joy Walcott-Francis and Dr. June Francis from the Vancouver Black community and played a vital role in revitalizing discussions around a black community space in Vancouver known as Hogan’s Alley.
- In 2018, We raised money for the Congo Crisis in association with the African Students Association where the Voice of Ituri, local based Congolese Journalism community to fight against the attack on the freedom of speech in Congo via a panel discussion on the Crisis in Congo led by Luc Malembe.
- In collaboration with the African Descent Society and the African Students Association, we organized a large Forum on the UN Decade for people of African Descent with Speakers such as Julialynne Walker, High Court Justice Donald Mcleod, Eddy Kenzo, Duhabo Muhammed and our very own Dr. June Francis.
- In 2018, started a campaign #BlackSpacesMatter fighting against institutional racism and pushing against the SFSS decision to evict SOCA from our space on campus and not allocating space in the student-funded Student Union Building on campus alongside the Rotunda Community
- In November 2018, we showcased some of the biggest Black Artists and Performers at our Africa and The Diaspora Cultural Night as well as hosted multiple themed parties
- In Black History Month 2019, we host Discussion Wednesdays, Black Girl Magic Workshops, Black History Month Kickoff showcasing Black Performers and Black Busineses, Black Film Festival and Afrofest in alliance with all the other Black Organizations in SFU and UBC.
- In November 2019, 25th Year Anniversary dinner showcasing all the years of Black excellence on campus and bringing together many different artists of all stripes
- In February 2020, SOCA is allocated space in the New Student Union Building ending the 2 year battle for space on campus! All the support from various people helped SOCA and the Rotunda Community secure space for equity-seeking groups on campus who were at risk of displacement. Shoutout to the Rotunda Community and the Independent Student Societies on campus: SFPIRG, CJSF, FNSA, Embark, Women Center Collective, Out on Campus Collective, and the Peak!
- In response to continued brutality of Black folks in 2020, SOCA released statements highlighting the continuous labour Black folks have been doing and continue to do including in response to the police murder of George Floyd, and the violent arrest of the Black community member on campus. 2020 was a tough year for the Black community on campus but we had not lost hope and continued to fight and still hosted Mental Health workshops, Black Hair in Focus: History and Politics of Black Hair events, and a myriad of community building events for the Black community.
- SOCA hosted a myriad of events for 2021 Black History month, using a theme of Black Celebration Month to highlight Black excellence on campus and beyond ranging from events such as Black Trivia, Black Art Afro Dance Workshops, Movie Nights and Black Minds Matter Panel Discussion.
SOCA is committed to creating an inclusive space for the black community and allies at SFU without the fear of condemnation on the basis of sex, gender, ethnicity, race, class or sexual orientation.
SOCA is committed to creating a strong family community among members and allies, so that the Black Community support mechanism is strong on campus, via events, workshops, discussions and a Black Community Services Centre.
- Social Justice
SOCA is committed to social justice and advocating for fairness in social and economic policy, so that inequities are reduced and fair policy decisions are made to redress issues facing the Black Community via distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within SFU and in British Columbia at large.
Committed to advocating for better representation in faculty and academia, advocating for Black presence in University and also having for a strong presence in government policy.
- To initiate and maintain fellowship between students of African and Caribbean descent and students interested in the varied African and Caribbean cultures;
- To promote and raise awareness of the relevant social and political issues significant to people of African and Caribbean Descent on campus and abroad;
- To support and advocate primarily on behalf of members, providing services and promoting African and Caribbean intellectual and cultural experiences through open and interactive exchange of ideas among members of the university community;
- To provide the SFU community with relevant academic and human resources on African and the Caribbean and other Afro-Descendant communities
- To promote the relevance of the African-Caribbean community to other student associations, as well as national and international organizations.
- To serve as an umbrella organization for nationality-based African and Caribbean clubs on campus, providing support and advocating for all diasporic communities and allies.
Old peak articles
November 3, 1997 - SOCA Allocated space along with First Nations Students Association (FNSA), and Out on Campus (OOC)
Sep 20, 2004 - ACHSA organizers Rally for Darfur
Sep, 2004 - SFSS Donates $200 to ACHSA rally on Darfur
Feb 20, 2006 - Convo Mall Event
Feb 11, 2002 - Black History Month Fabled Myth Article by President
Feb 6, 1995 - Black History a Source of Pride
June 19999 - Creating a space for black children to see Black University Role Models in Science
Past execs over the years: pdf
There are many organizations that we have worked with in the past and are instrumental in building the Black Community in Vancouver. Feel free to visit the pages and/or websites of these organizations.
- SFU African Students' Association - www.facebook.com/SfuAfricanStudentsAssociation/
- UBC African Awareness Initiative - http://www.ubcaai.org/
- UBC Black Student Union - https://www.facebook.com/UBCBSU/
- Hogan's Alley Society - http://www.hogansalleysociety.org/
- The Voice of Ituri - http://voiceofituri.com/
- Black Lives Matter Vancouver - https://blacklivesmattervancouver.cowww.facebook.com/UBCBSU/m/
- Unity Center Association of Black Cultures - https://ucabc.ca/
- Carnival Sensations - https://www.facebook.com/carnival.sensations/
- Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of BC - https://www.ttcsbc.org/
- National Congress of Black Women Foundation - http://www.ncbwf.org/
- Afro-Caribbean Enrichment Society - https://www.facebook.com/afrocaribbeanenrichment
- Meanwhile, Black In Vancouver - Facebook Group
- Black Boys Code - www.blackboyscode.org
- Black Library Online - Black Library
- Centre for African Integration - http://www.ciia-ciai.com/
There are many organizations businesses and support systems that serve as a conduit and a hub for many in the black community. Feel free to visit the pages and/or websites of these businesses.
Contact us to work with us!
- Afro Hair Studio - afrohairstudio.com/
- Ice Kol Kut (Barbershop) - www.icekolkut.ca/
- Taste of Africa (Restaurant) - facebook.com/pages/Taste-Of-Africa/457923700895768
- Jangubuzz (Event Marketing) - jangubuzzapp.com/
- Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant - harambes.com/
- Riddim and Spice (Restaurant) - facebook.com/pages/Riddim-Spice/110129542388239
- Lagos Chop - facebook.com/lagoschop/
- See a large list of businesses and causes here: http://bit.ly/bcblackbusinesses
Contact us to work with us!