Often when February comes to a close, so does the celebration of Black History Month in Canada. This year we saw extraordinary efforts, workshops, and events that elevated Black womxn, entrepreneurs, and founders.
Events such as Future of Good’s Black Leadership in Social Impact Summit and Tech Summit Black by the Athlete Tech Group amplified Black leaders’ voices and raised critical issues. We listen to conversations about representation in Canada’s growing sectors to reform, making investments in Black founders, and increased awareness about social issues through social media.
In a year of turbulence, from disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on Black communities to ongoing social justice issues, community gatherings and virtual events focused on Black wellness, joy, emancipation, and futures. This year, we’ve reflected on our learnings throughout the month and are proud to feature this overview of learning and unlearning resources, videos, and profiles of Canadian voices.
At Venture for Canada, we are committed to the advancement of entrepreneurship in the Black community. Therefore, we find it important to feature the achievements of our Black community members and the impact they’ve made. Being vocal about our commitment is part of an initiative that our community members have asked us to do as accountability. Read our 2020 Impact Report to learn more about how we commit to advancing anti-racing and all of our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.
Our Recap of Events, Resources, and Upcoming Events:
- Black Professional in Tech Network (BPTN) announced their partnership with RBC Future Launch to create the largest early-career Black tech talent pipeline in Canadian history. From Black History to Black Futures, you can watch their February series of events here in case you missed it.
- You can now register for BPTN’s Celebrating Black Women in Tech Leadership for International Women’s Day 2021 #IWXD021 in partnership with TD and hear from a panel of expert womxn leaders.
- Our friends at Volta, along with ONSIDE, and the Black Business Initiative, celebrated and recognized the Black entrepreneurs in the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem that are building innovative solutions and elevating the Atlantic Canadian startup ecosystem.
- Watch Alterna Savings February 25th event Honouring the Role of the Black Entrepreneurs and their vital contribution to addressing the generational wealth gap for Black families.
Articles and Reports:
- Read about 10 Black Leaders in Social Impact You Should Know by Kylie Adair & Brennan Doherty. Our friends at Future of Good recognize leaders who are working in the Social Impact sector across Canada who advocate for inclusion, philanthropy, and advancement in innovation.
- Sheldon James, Stephan James and Shamier Anderson’s feature in Forbes titled “These Three Brothers Are Raising Canada’s Largest Venture Fund for BIPOC Founders” hoping to raise CAD $40 million by the end of the year as first-time fund managers.
- The Network for the Advancement of Black Communities and Carleton University’s Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Program co-authored and published Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy. This research report provides the first systematic, empirical examination of the extent to which Canadian philanthropy has responded to the unique and intersectional challenges facing Black communities.
- Read, The Basic Foundation of Our Democracy is Our Humanity: An in-Depth Conversation with Celina Caesar Chavannes by Vinod Rajasekaran in Future of Good. In this conversation, Celina and Vinod touch on inclusion, anti-racism, and a Black woman’s story in Canadian politics.
- Learn more about the need for data to better support the community in the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce report in partnership with BDC, examining barres that Black entrepreneurs in Canada face.
Book recommendations by VFC’s Strategic Partnerships and Social Impact Manager:
The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance – Desmond Cole
“In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.”
Cole’s puncturing Canadian’s naive assumptions of a post-racial nation chronicles 2017’s struggle against racism in this country in light of Canada’s 150th celebration.
In this New York Timesbestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting, user-friendly examination of race in America. Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
“Oluo gives us–both white people and people of colour–that language to engage in clear, constructive, and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases.” National Book Review
Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada. Angela Davies says, “Robyn Maynard’s meticulously-researched and compelling analysis of state violence challenges prevailing narratives of Canadian multiculturalism and inclusion by examining how structures of racism and ideologies of gender are complexly anchored in global histories of colonization and slavery. This book should be read not only by those who have a specific interest in Canadian histories and social justice movements but by anyone interested in the abolitionist and revolutionary potential of the Black Lives Matters movement more broadly.”
Black History Month Library of Free Readings – Is a publicly accessible and free list compiled by activists and community members during the Black Lives Matter protest. The content solely belongs to the authors, and the list is accessible to anyone on the internet. Please use it at your own discretion.
Venture for Canada is a national charity that fosters entrepreneurial skills and mindset in young Canadians. To be entrepreneurial is to act upon opportunities to create value for others. The resourcefulness of Canadians is essential to overcoming our country’s greatest challenges. Venture for Canada is a catalyst of systemic social change by equipping young Canadians to build a more prosperous and inclusive society.
That means all Canadians. Read our 2020 Impact Report to learn more about our focus in advancing anti-racism and all of our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.
Are you a motivated recent grad looking to enter the workforce at a startup with an entrepreneurial mindset? Fellowship applications have been extended to March 4th! Apply now.