Meet the board

MEET THE BOARD

Nalda Callender

Executive Director

For the past 35 years, Nalda Callender has served her community in various roles and has been both an inspiring woman and community leader. In 1983, Nalda was invited to join and establish a Chapter of Congress of Black Women Canada (CBWC) here in Vancouver. She has dedicated her professional and volunteer work toward challenging the perceptions and position of people of African heritage in society.

Her vision and tenacity resulted in her being instrumental in getting Canada Post to issue a commemorative postal stamp. In February 2009, and since, Rosemary Brown’s contribution to British Columbia and to all of Canada was honoured. Nalda is also a founding member of the Rosemary Brown Annual Award for Women which was established in 2005.

She is passionate about creating an environment in which racialization and ethno-cultural categories, are not used to determine the level of one’s participation in society or the level of access to available resources. Over the years, Nalda has created environments where individuals are able to have a voice, find a place and have equitable participation. She has also developed programs and projects to enhance the learning capacity and knowledge of students at all levels from primary to tertiary institutions. Close to her heart is the self-confidence of young women and the empowerment of women and their families. Adapted from, https://tinyurl.com/y65lzrj4 

Lolly Bennett

Chair

Lolly has actively, and enthusiastically volunteered for the National Congress of Black Women, in her community for over 20 yrs. Being from a matriarchal lineage and one of five girls in a family of seven, she feels passionate about addressing issues faced and experienced by women. The vision and mandate of the Congress go hand-in-hand with her values, sense of community and civic pride.

In her working life Lolly currently holds the position of, Helmsman/Pilot/Driver for, Vancouver’s False Creek Ferries, to designated docks located within the False Creek inlet. Lolly  works as an independent Agent for Landlords. Previous to the above, she spent 12 years as a successful General Manager and rental leasing agent for an accomplished development corporation. This included all aspects of the day to day operations of each of the five buildings; her portfolio included 150 residential rental units in the Greater Vancouver area. The jewel in Lolly’s portfolio, involved bringing the developers vision of a “Community focused ” 79 suite rental building to life, it went on to be a model of rental housing, referenced by the City of Vancouver.

Shelley-Anne Vidal

Vice Chair

As someone who (as a child) directly benefited from programs developed by the National Congress of Black Women’s Foundation (NCBWF), Shelley is excited to serve as Vice-Chair to amplify the great work that the NCBWF is doing to support females/female identifying people of African descent in the community.

Being a born advocate, she has always seen the humanity in others and has been unafraid to speak up in the face of injustice. Shelley considers herself a lifelong learner and knowledge seeker who enjoys learning about intercultural leadership/communication, social justice, and anti-racism so we can bring diverse communities together for a more inclusive society.

Shelley enjoys juggling various passion projects that connect people and amplify the voices as well as the accomplishments of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Shelley is the owner/founder of ACT by Vidal, a full-time as a college instructor, and a partner in both Sisters Leading Sisters and Kaiso Careers. Outside of work, she enjoys walking in nature, listening to music, connecting with loved ones, and travelling. 

Michelle Gordon Powell

Treasurer

Michelle Gordon-Powell AKA “Healing Empress” is an Intuitive Feminine Empowerment Mentor. She started volunteering with the National Congress of Black Women Foundation as a youth where she felt recognized and supported by the community.  So inspired by her own positive involvement, both she and her three daughters continue to contribute as junior volunteers. At their peer level, they in turn have introduced their friends to the NCBWF. During 2016 -2018, she supported the then Treasurer, and in 2020 she was voted in as Treasure to the Executive board. 

Currently, Michelle works as a support worker for several women’s organizations who offer counsel, and refuge to some of the most vulnerable and marginalized women at locations throughout the lower mainland.

Michelle is passionate about helping women access their empowered self, by creating space for personal-love and inner confidence. She creates spaces that help provide clarity around their lives and purpose.

Amora Takawira

Secretary

Amora has served on the Executive as Secretary for the last three years; prior to that, she was a dedicated volunteer and Board Member with the National Congress of Black Women Foundation. Amora brings to the Congress strong strategic skills and solid business acumen from her previous roles supporting entrepreneurs and her various business endeavours in Zimbabwe and Canada. She is the Signature Programs Coordinator at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, where she currently oversees the Leaders of Tomorrow Mentorship Program and the Company of Young Professionals, supporting program development, events and volunteer committees. Amora’s knowledge lived experience, and passion has been instrumental in launching and supporting the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council. A proud Zimbabwean-Canadian, Amora, is driven by her desire to deliver tangible impact for her community.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Management from the University of South Africa. Most importantly, she is a super Aunt who takes her aunty duties seriously!

MEMBERS

  • Johanna Gasirabo,
  • Orneli Bakajika
  • Candace Knoll