Hello, my name is Nneka Allen and I am the principal and founder of The Empathy Agency.

Nneka Allen is a Black woman and a descendant of the Underground Railroad. Her African ancestors had a historic relationship with the First Peoples of Canada and as result, the Cherokee and the Ojibwe are also her relations. She is a 6th generation Canadian and a Momma.

Born in the 70s, Nneka was raised during a time of Black power and acute political awareness in North America. As a result, the air in her childhood home was generous, brilliant and proud. Her parents and their siblings with great intentionality poured their consciousness into her multi-ethnic identity.

Today, Nneka is a relationship builder, a stone-catcher, a freedom fighter, a coach and a storyteller. As a lover of justice, Nneka has inspired philanthropy as a Fundraising Executive in the charitable sector for over 20 years. As the Principal and Founder of The Empathy Agency Inc., she helps leaders and their teams deliver more fairly on their missions by coaching them to explore the impact identity has on culture and equity outcomes.

Nneka is also the founder of the Black Canadian Fundraisers' Collective, a group of fundraisers who inspire and elevate the philanthropic sector in the African tradition of Ubuntu - "I am because we are". She is an award-winning author and joint editor of a book featuring the first-person narratives of 15 Black contributors, mainly fundraisers from the United States and Canada called Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love. Nneka is also currently a Scholar-in-Residence on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of British Columbia.

And Nneka’s ultimate joy is her daughter Destiny and her husband Skylar, who are both Environmental Scientists and philanthropists. Along with their dogs Sophi and Sammi they live and work on the unceded shared territory of the Sumas and Mastqui First Nations. As forced inhabitants of these beautiful territories, she honours the original keepers of this land. 

Identity cannot be found or fabricated but emerges from within when one has the courage to let go.
— Doug Cooper