Our Committees

Ending anti-black systemic racism is a complex problem
that requires a holistic and comprehensive approach. 


That’s why we’re establishing action committees that focus on the multi-layered challenges facing Black
Canadians. Using clearly defined short and long-term goals, each committee will work tenaciously to meet KPIs
created to eliminate anti-Black systemic racism and barriers impacting Black Canadians.

The BlackNorth Initiative’s Board of Directors

The BlackNorth Initiative’s Board of Directors was purposefully created to reflect the rich cultural mosaic of Canada to be a dynamic and diverse governance body – one with the depth, breadth and reach needed to create the right policies and oversight needed to sustain the organization’s drive towards dismantling anti-Black systemic racism.

  1. Chair: Wes Hall, Executive Chairman & Founder, Kingsdale Advisors
  2. Co-Chair: Rola Dagher, President & CEO, Cisco Canada
  3. Co-Chair: Victor Dodig, President & CEO, CIBC
  4. Co-Chair: Prem Watsa, Chairman & CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited
  5. R. Maxine Adwella, Executive Director, National Collaboration for Youth Mental Health
  6. Dr. Upton Allen, Professor of Paediatrics & Chief of Infectious Diseases, SickKids, University of Toronto
  7. Jamie Anderson, Senior Advisor, RBC Capital Markets
  8. Jordan Banks, President, Rogers Sports & Media
  9. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Communications Strategist and Philanthropist
  10. Patricia DeGuire, Sr. Arbitrator/ Mediator/ Coach, Law Society of Ontario
  11. Paul Desmarais III, Chairman & CEO, Sagard Holdings
  12. Newton Glassman, Founder & Managing Partner, Catalyst Capital Group Inc.
  13. Dr. Jennifer R. Jackson, President, Capital One Canada
  14. Right Honourable David Johnston, Former Governor General of Canada
  15. Claudette McGowan, Global Executive Officer – Protect Fusion & Cyber Experience
    TD Canada, Toronto
  16. Barry Mclnerney, President & CEO, Mackenzie Investments
  17. Michael Medline, President & CEO, Empire Company Limited
  18. Mark Mulroney, Vice Chairman, Scotiabank
  19. The Honourable Donald Oliver, Retired Senator
  20. Jeffrey L. Orridge, Chairman, Tiidal Gaming Group
  21. Jaqui Parchment, CEO, Mercer Canada
  22. Brian Porter, President, & CEO, Scotiabank
  23. David Sharpe, CEO, Bridging Finance Inc.
  24. Walied Soliman, Chair, Norton Rose Fulbright

Committees of note include:
  1. Justice Committee – Co-Chairs: Mark Persaud, Senior Legal Counsel, Persaud Law Group Professional Corporation and Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
  2. Education Committee – Co-Chairs: Gervan Fearon, President and Vice-Chancellor, Brock University and Carl James, Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora at York University
  3. Health Committee – Co-Chairs: Dr. Upton Allen, Professor of Paediatrics & Chief of Infectious Diseases, SickKids, University of Toronto and Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO, Wellesley Institute
  4. Philanthropic Committee – Chair: Daniel Lewis, Managing Partner, Orange Capital and CEO of Ascend Fundraising Solutions
  5. At Risk Youth Committee – Chair: Mark Saunders, Toronto Chief of Police Community Safety
  6. Community Safety and Wellness Committee – Chair: Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO, Wellesley Institute
  7. Economic and Empowerment Committee – Chair: Dr. Jennifer R. Jackson, President, Canada Capital One Canada
  8. Mentorship/Sponsorship Committee – Co-Chairs: Patricia DeGuire, Sr. Arbitrator/ Mediator/ Coach and Dr. Chika B. Onwuekwe, Q.C., VP Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Trican Well Service Ltd.
  9. Sports and Entertainment Committee – Co-Chairs: Isiah Thomas, Founder, Isiah International and Vice Chairman/CEO, One World Pharma and Donovan Bailey, Hall of Fame Sports Legend and CEO of Bailey Inc/DBFoundation
  10. Government Relations and Public Sector Committee – Chair: Honourable Donald Oliver, Retired Senator
  11. Representation in Arts, Media & Culture – Chair: Kai Exos, CCO, Dentsu Entertainment, Dentsu Aegis Network
  12. Indigenous Observer Committee – Chair: David Sharpe, CEO, Bridging Finance Inc.
  13. Youth Committee – Chair: Katherine Allen, Strategic Planner, MKTG
  14. Housing Committee – Chair: Isaac Olowolafe, Founder, DreamMaker Developments
  15. Pledge Committee – Chair: Marlon Hylton, CEO and Founder, INNOV-8 Data Council & INNOV-8 Legal Inc.
  16. Thought Leadership – Chair: Shuvaloy Majumdar, Munk Senior Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Macdonald Laurier Institute
  17. Volunteers – Chair: Karlena Waugh, Founder & Event Coordinator, Mini K Creations

Our Committees

<strong>Justice Committee</strong>
Justice Committee
<strong>Education Committee</strong>
Education Committee
<strong>Health & Wellness Committee</strong>
Health & Wellness Committee
<strong>Philanthropic Committee</strong>
Philanthropic Committee
<strong>At-Risk Youth Committee</strong>
At-Risk Youth Committee
<strong>Community Safety & Engagement Committee</strong>
Community Safety & Engagement Committee
<strong>Economic Empowerment Committee</strong>
Economic Empowerment Committee
<strong>Mentorship Committee</strong>
Mentorship Committee
<strong>Sports & Entertainment Committee</strong>
Sports & Entertainment Committee
<strong>Government Relations & Public Sector Committee</strong>
Government Relations & Public Sector Committee
<strong>Representation In Arts, Media & Culture</strong>
Representation In Arts, Media & Culture

In the coming weeks, each committee will release a bold action plan for change, engage the greatest Black minds and allies across each sector, and publish studies and thought leadership pieces to continue advancing BlackNorth’s objectives for Black Canadians.

If you are interested in joining any of our committees, please fill out the form below.

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