SHIFTER’s Kevin Bourne highlights three Black organizations you can support this Black History Month and beyond.
The past few years have been a trying time for the Black community, but in the midst of the ups and downs, some brave community leaders and social entrepreneurs have continued to serve our community from coast to coast.
Here are three Black organizations you can support this Black History Month and beyond.
Black Moms Connection
Founded in Toronto in 2015 by award-winning creative storyteller, Tanya Hayles, the Black Moms Connection went from a gathering of 12 women to a “global village” of over 25,000 with chapters in cities across North America and Asia. Not only do they offer financial support grants, programs, and events to moms across Canada and the United States, but they also host their signature event, the Black Moms Connection Financial Literacy Summit, also known as the BMC FinLit Summit.
Sponsored exclusively by TD, the summit “helps educate and promote dialogue about financial growth”. Participants are given the tools and resources to navigate the financial system and increase their confidence with money.
Proceeds from ticket sales go towards the Black Moms Connection Emergency Fund which to date has provided over 200 families with more than $45,000 in financial support.
Many in the Black community have been disappointed by the lack of Black representation in tech, but that may be a thing of the past if one Vancouver entrepreneur has anything to say about it.
After a lengthy career in the corporate world in various roles, Bryan Johnson founded Black Boys Code in 2015 to help narrow the diversity gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. Sponsored by TD, Black Boys Code is not only teaching young boys coding, but problem solving and leadership skills, putting them on the path to becoming the creators and innovators of tomorrow.
Now with eleven chapters across Canada, and one in Atlanta, Georgia, Black Boys Code is one of the leading organization in Canada focused on equipping Black youth with the skills and mindset to be leaders in technology. Expanding on their flagship program, they have also launched Black Kids Code in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary to specifically designed to meet the needs of Black girls. In 2021, Bryan and his team have expanded their reach even further with a new $1.3 million scholarship program for underemployed Black youth in Ontario to train as junior web developer. To date seventy-three youth have graduated from the program.
Black Opportunity Fund (BOF)
The Black Opportunity was established in 2020 and has a mandate to dismantle anti-Black racism by establishing a sustainable pool of capital to fund Black led businesses and Black led not for profits and charities, in order to improve the social and economic well-being of Canada’s Black communities. The fund, which aims to be one of the largest in the world, was founded by a team of Black Canadian professionals. With Jamaican-Canadian, Craig Wellington, as its executive director, the aim is to help “dismantle the structural barriers that for generations have prevented many Black Canadians from achieving economic success”. Donations can be made to the Black Opportunity Fund at Toronto Foundation to help support initiatives around education, healthcare, women, criminal justice, entrepreneurship, arts & culture and youth that impact the quality of life in Black communities across Canada.
“Black Opportunity Fund is pleased to accept this incredible show of confidence in our mission and objectives from one of North America’s largest Banks. We believe this historic commitment from TD will translate into real change including social and economic empowerment for many Black Canadians.”
Tap here to find out more about how TD is working together with Black communities in Canada.