photos: The Big Sell event 2017

Julia Aoki Announced as New Executive Director of Megaphone


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Announcing Our New Executive Director

Megaphone is pleased to announce Julia Aoki as our next Executive Director. Julia brings a wealth of experience in various leadership roles in the arts and culture sector, education, and community development. We are delighted to welcome her to the Megaphone community.

Julia began her extensive career in community development through the arts with the Powell Street Festival Society, first as a Volunteer Coordinator, before continuing to lead the Society as its General Manager and Programming Director. More recently, she has experience as the Operations Coordinator with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and General Manager of VIVO Media Arts Centre.

Under her strategic leadership, VIVO Media Arts Centre tackled numerous strategic projects and organizational milestones. In only three years, Julia secured significant funding increases across all levels of government, in addition to stewarding a process to refine the organizations’ vision, mission, and values and realigning VIVO’s strategic planning process to the organization’s core values.

Julia has demonstrated her commitment to social justice values through advocacy and volunteer work with the City of Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park Commemorative Task Force, DTES Local Area Planning Process, and DTES SRO Collaborative. She has also researched and written on marginalized or obscured Vancouver social histories as part of her academic work.

“I am excited to be a steward and vocal advocate for the work being done by the Megaphone community, and continue to develop the organization in a way that amplifies marginalized voices and experiences. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to getting to know the vendors, volunteers, donors and everyone who puts their time and care into Megaphone. “ - Julia Aoki

The Board and staff would like to once again thank Jessica Hannon, who started as a volunteer at Megaphone eight years ago, for her fearless, compassionate and visionary leadership as Executive Director. She has led Megaphone through the launch of a cashless payment app, a major milestone of more than $1 million earned by our low-income vendors, and most recently, the launch of the Speakers Bureau project to tackle stigma in response to the overdose crisis. The Megaphone community will miss her greatly and wishes her all the best as she prepares to leave on July 5th, providing a three-week overlap with Julia to ensure a smooth transition in the organization.

About Megaphone

Megaphone offers people experiencing poverty and homelessness products, platforms, and training programs to help them earn a living while advocating for themselves and their communities. Through programming like Megaphone Magazine, the Hope In Shadows Calendar and Megaphone’s Speakers Bureau, Megaphone is working to change the story on homelessness and poverty in our communities.

Media contact:

Jessica Hannon, outgoing Executive Director

Julia Aoki, incoming Executive Director

604-255-9701 x 138

Email: [email protected]

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