BlackNorth Initiative

About Us

Our Story

Founded in 2020 by Dr. Wes Hall, the BlackNorth Initiative was born out of a critical need to address and dismantle the systemic barriers faced by Black Canadians. Our organization was established with a pledge to foster a Canada where systemic anti-Black racism does not exist, and to create opportunities for Black Canadians to thrive.

Our Mission

The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to close the gaps created by systemic anti-Black racism for Black Canadians

Our Pledge

The BlackNorth Initiative's pledge commits organizations across Canada to specific actions and measurable outcomes aimed at ending systemic anti-Black racism. This includes increasing the representation of Black Canadians in boardrooms and executive positions, implementing hiring practices that reflect our diverse society, and fostering an inclusive environment where all employees can thrive.

Our Programs

1. Homeownership Bridge Program

This program provides affordable homeownership options, helping Black families build security and stability.

2. BlackNorth Connect

A digital platform providing early career opportunities, internships, job postings, mentorships, and bursaries.

3. Black Entrepreneurship Growth and Innovation Network (B.E.G.I.N.)

A digital platform that supports Black entrepreneurs with resources, funding directories, pro-bono & discounted services, as well as mentorship opportunities.

4. Scholarships and Bursaries

Provide annual scholarships & bursaries for post-secondary education to students nationwide, investing in the future of young Black leaders.

Our Impact

Since our inception, the BlackNorth Initiative has achieved significant milestones, view our annual impact report.

Join Us

We invite you to join us in our mission to create a more equitable and just society. Together, we can dismantle the barriers of systemic anti-Black racism and build a Canada where all individuals, regardless of their race, can achieve their full potential.

Meet Our Board Directors

Wes Hall

Executive Chairman & Founder

WeShall Investments Inc.

Prem Watsa

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited

Dr. Upton Allen

Professor of Paediatrics & Chief of Infectious Diseases SickKids, U OF T

Walied Soliman

Norton Rose Fulbright​

Donette Chin-Loy Chang

Communications Strategist & Philanthropist

Paul Desmarais III

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Sagard Holdings

Newton Glassman

Founder & Managing Partner Catalyst Capital Group Inc.

Right honourable David Johnston

Former Governor General of Canada

Jamie Anderson

Senior Advisor RBC Capital Market

Claudette McGowan

Chief Executive Officer
Jennifer Bernard

Jennifer Bernard

Chief Executive Officer
SickKids Foundation

Michael Medline

President & Chief Executive Officer Empire Company Limited

Mark Mulroney

Vice Chairman & Head, Financial Sponsors, Corporate & Investment Banking

The Honourable Donald Oliver

Retired Senator

Dominique Hussey

Chief Executive Officer
Bennett Jones

Jad Shimaly

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Ernst & Young

Jeffrey L. Orridge

Chief Executive Officer TVO

Jaqui Parchment

Damon Murchison

President & Chief Executive Officer IG Wealth Management

CEO's Office

Chief Executive Officer

Dahabo Ahmed Omer

Chief Executive Officer

Shelton Mpala

Associate Director of Strategic Communications

Sagal Abdi

Director of Social Impact & Sustainability

Kahmaria Pingue

Chief of Staff

May Gezahegn

Marketing and Communications Associate

Nicholas Fraser

Finance Associate

Tamara Tuqan

Program Associate

Mohammad Badawy

Stakeholder Associate

Tatenda Mhaka

Manager, Social Impact & Reporting

Alberta Chapter

The launch of the Chapter has helped to cement the place of the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) in Alberta within our various communities, as well as Corporate Alberta and the government (provincial and municipal). It also strengthens BNI’s push in Alberta for the elimination of anti-black systemic racism in the province and provides further opportunities to collaborate with various stakeholders to champion key initiatives that are critical in advancing the betterment of Black Albertans.

Dr. Chika Onwuekwe, KC, ICD.D

Alberta Chapter Chair

Whitney Owolabi


Chantal Milloy


Dr. Gideon Christian


Jane Eruchalu


Nketti Johnston-Taylor


Sara L. Austin


Uche Paladus Ezetah


Wale Balogun


Charles Osuji


Sheri Brake


Sarah Mauppa


Brittany Stahl