Lystra Sam

Cultural Connectivity: Promoting Blackness through successful entrepreneurship

Day 2 Panel

Lystra Sam is a multi-preneur and a lifelong learner. She is the creator and architect and facilitator of “The World When Black” Anti-Racism and Allyship workshops that center on the disruption and dismantling of white supremacy culture in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality and Wellness Industry. She cut her teeth in the events curation industry over 2 decades ago with the co-curation of the opening event for International Village Mall in Vancouver’s Chinatown and facilitated a celebrity tennis tournament fundraiser that raised over $10k for the David Foster Foundation and BC Children’s Hospital. She has curated memorable events in Vancouver for over 25 years and is a vocal activist and advocate in many communities.

Recently completing studies in Gender-Based Analysis, Ethics in Research, The Trauma of
Money Method and SFU Community Container Building Program [certifications 2021-22] all of which continued her trauma informed decolonizing education. Lystra also has an undergraduate degree in Business Management, BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies. And is not slowing down her learnings anytime soon.

Currently she is in an accelerated MBA program and proudly sits on the faculty of The Trauma of Money Method program where she facilitates connecting indigeneity and ancestral traumas to “belongingness” in our current climate. She sits on the board of and is Founder & Program Director for her own community initiative called Sisters Leading Sisters while she is also involved in other social justice committees, and she is the founder, owner and operator of a trailblazing Travel & Events company called Qmooniti Travel & Lifestyle.

Lystra started Qmooniti (pronounced: community) in 2017 to be bolder and more intentional about taking up space in an industry that she is passionate about and is just as passionate about changing. She identified several gaps in the industry that lead to inequity, lack of safety and underrepresentation on the basis of racialization when viewed from an intersectional lens.

Lystra has worked in several areas of the travel and events industry for over 2 decades. She has lived in Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Tahiti, Japan, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. She has visited over 100 countries and is (sort of) still counting. She is a global citizen!

Her travel experiences inform her decisions for the travel business that focuses on people and culture with a decolonizing lens while centering Black, Indigenous, people of colour, 2SLGBTQIA+, people with disabilities and the solo female/femme traveler as she bridges the gaps in the industry that have been created by systemic oppression.

Her goal is to continue to be instrumental in the dismantling of Canada’s culture of systemic
oppression by adding her anti-racism skills where she is called to do so. At times this will be inside of the systems she means to dismantle and more often it will be outside of those harmful systems but no matter inside or out, her work will lead to unapologetic disruption.

Lystra is a truth-seeker and a truth speaker so, she can be heard espousing her ideas and thoughts on the current socio-political climate and ways which she implements the use of JOY as resistance to oppression within her community on several podcasts including the Authentic Tantra Institute podcast with Devi Ward Erickson, Intentifiers Podcast by Harjit Jodi Rai and others. She has been spotlighted in several publications and is regularly invited to community panels to speak on many topics regarding community capacity building and the nuances of dismantling systems of
oppression as an entrepreneur and community connector.

If she looks familiar perhaps you’ve seen her on television interviewing (or taking to task) Prime Minister Trudeau or you’ve seen her in one commercial or the other as she is also a busy working actor.