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BlackNorth Initiative Invites Quebec Corporate CEOs to Sign Pledge to End Anti-Black Systemic Racism

MONTREAL , September 17 /Businesswire/ - The BlackNorth Initiative is inviting senior business leaders in Quebec and across Canada to commit to specific actions and targets designed to end anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for all people in the Black community and other underrepresented groups.

“Wes Hall (Founder and Chairman of The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism and the BlackNorth Initiative), Victor Dodig (President & CEO of CIBC), Rola Dagher (Global Channel Chief Dell Technologies) and Prem Watsa (Chairman & CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited), co-chairs of the BlackNorth Initiative, have developed a pledge to help like-minded business leaders begin the process of eliminating anti-black systemic racism within their own companies. It is my job to continue their work and to work alongside business leaders to advocate for positive, impactful and long-lasting change,” says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative. “By signing the pledge, business leaders are sending a strong message to their Black employees, customers, stakeholders, and the Black community in general, that they are committed to eliminating anti-black systemic racism.”

The BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge, which is available online at https://blacknorth.ca/the-pledge/, asks CEOs to commit to seven goals, which, it believes, will move Canada toward ending anti-Black systemic racism and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups. Companies whose CEOs sign the pledge will also be expected to track their progress and share their results publicly.

BlackNorth Initiative Quebec Virtual Summit

On September 30, from 2 – 4pm EDT, the BlackNorth Initiative will host their inaugural virtual Quebec summit, where all signatories of the CEO pledge are invited to attend. The event will be co-chaired by Wes Hall and Isabelle Adjahi, a Quebec-based Senior investor relations and communications executive.

Following the success of the Toronto Summit held on July 20th 2020, which attracted more than 2,500 participants, Quebec's first virtual summit will be co-hosted by Fabienne Colas, actress, director, President-Founder of the MIBFF and Déborah Cherenfant, President of the Junior Chamber of commerce of Montreal.

The event which will be, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada (“BDC”), will be held primarily in French and will feature both incredible speakers and powerful panel discussions including Quebec CEOs, such as Michael Denham (BDC), Frantz Saintellemy (Leddartech and Groupe 3737), Geneviève Mottard (Ordre des CPA du Québec), Louis Vachon (National Bank of Canada) and Macky Tall (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and CDPQ Infra).

Other special guests will also participate in the summit. Further details and a link to register to attend this free event, will be available shortly at www.blacknorth.ca.

The BlackNorth Initiative is proud of its partnership with business leaders who recognize and acknowledge the importance of addressing anti-black systemic racism and who have helped make the Quebec launch possible.

“At BDC, we recognize the imperative of creating meaningful change for Black communities in Canada. Our values align with those of the BlackNorth Initiative and we are proud to sponsor the virtual summit in Quebec,” says Michael Denham, President & CEO of BDC. “Beyond our sponsorship, we are working with the BlackNorth Initiative to identify and dismantle systemic anti-Black racism within our organization and look forward to creating new opportunities for people of all backgrounds.”


Led by The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism, The BlackNorth Initiative is a non-profit organization which mission is to end anti-Black systemic racism in Canada. It will do so throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business first mindset.

STORY TAGS: Conference, Professional Services, Philanthropy, African-American, Consumer, Other Professional Services, Other Philanthropy, Quebec, North America, Canada,


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