Djaka Blais-Amare (she/her) is a seasoned bilingual social sector leader with 18 years of experience in philanthropy, government, and community mobilizing. Djaka is a change agent to shift power dynamics and remove oppressive structures within philanthropic organizations and in relation to communities. As a recognized thought leader on equity in philanthropy, she focuses on continuous improvement, advocates for marginalized voices and grassroots initiatives at decision-making tables (create “seats at the table”).
Djaka is the Director, Grants and Racial Equity Strategy with Calgary Foundation where she guides the Foundation through an ongoing journey towards a Racial Equity Culture, which closely intersects and builds on the Foundation’s Reconciliation Journey. She also works collaboratively with the Grants Team to deliver a broad range of grantmaking activities.
Before joining Calgary Foundation, Djaka worked for several years with the federal government where she administered a variety of funding programs, including the Official Languages Program, Multiculturalism Program and Settlement Programs.
Djaka is a founding member of the Foundation for Black Communities, the first philanthropic foundation for Black communities in Canada. She is a board member with Philanthropic Foundations Canada, a Justice Funders Harmony Initiative Fellow and was recently selected as an SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue Fellow.
Djaka was born on unceded Indigenous lands on the Island of Tiohtiá:ke or Montréal and now lives, works and plays in Moh’kinsstis or Calgary with her husband and two boys and enjoys travelling with them whenever possible.
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