Schulich Celebrates Black History Month
Dear Members of the Schulich Community,
Every February, communities and organizations around the country observe Black History Month. This annual event provides an opportunity for us to recognize and applaud the accomplishments and contributions that Black Canadians have made to our country – and to the Schulich community.
As our School prepares to celebrate Black History Month, we pay tribute to the achievements of numerous individuals within the Schulich community.
These individuals include Schulich staff and academics like Marcia Annisette, Associate Dean, Academic and founding Director of Schulich’s Master of Accounting Program, whose research is internationally recognized and who is featured in the book, “100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women” alongside The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, the first African-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons.
They include students like Benita Munzundu, the founding president of Schulich’s newest student club, the Black Students Association, which is helping to foster a culture of inclusivity and allyship at our School.
And they include alumni like Dennis Mitchell (MBA ’02), CEO & CIO of Starlight Capital, one of more than 50 Black leaders who are lending their expertise to the creation of the Black Opportunity Fund, a partnership between businesses, philanthropists, foundations and the Black community; as well as Akosua Asare (iBBA ’16), Founder and CEO of Essence Luxe Couture and a guest entrepreneur at the “Introduction to Business” webinar series created by Schulich and a local community group to teach business know-how and entrepreneurship skills to members of Toronto’s Black community; and Reni Odetoyinbo (BBA ’18), Strategic Marketing Manager with BMO Private Wealth, who is a BMO Women In Technology mentor for students and a member of the ASPIRE Black Talent Advisory Board at Toronto Finance International.
All these individuals, together with countless others, are making an impact in our School, in our community, and in the world of business at large.
Black History Month is also a time when we can focus on the challenges and systemic barriers faced by Black communities, not only here in our own city but throughout the country. More specifically, Black History Month is a time for Schulich to reaffirm our commitment to addressing anti-Black discrimination and finding ways to increase Black representation at our School through initiatives such as our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group. One of the ways our School will increase representation is through the establishment of a new Black and Indigenous Student Bursary, launched yesterday. For Black and Indigenous students facing financial need, the Bursary will provide financial relief and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to offer this monetary award.
To commemorate Black History Month, the Black Graduate Business Network at Schulich will host a series of events throughout February featuring a wide range of industry leaders discussing issues related to this year’s theme, “The Black GPS: Navigating Corporate Canada.” The events are being presented in partnership with CIBC, P&G and Accenture.
In the weeks ahead, please join me in honouring the legacy of Black Canadians and their many contributions – both past and present – that have strengthened our economy and enriched our society.
Detlev Zwick, PhD
Schulich School of Business