BlackNorth Initiative

Congratulations to our Community Champion Award Winners

Congratulations to our Community Champion Award Winners January 31, 2023

The BlackNorth Community Champion Awards, sponsored by IG Wealth Management, CREALCBO and BMO, were presented to Black-led community organizations that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the communities they serve.

The winners were presented with the Community Champion Award and $10,000 each for furthering the work that they do at the BlackNorth Initiative Excellence Gala on Jan 21, 2023.

Community Champion Award Winners:

BlackTech Hub – Sponsored by LCBO

Osita Nwajiufor is an experienced Technology Delivery Executive and Strategic leader with more than 20 years in the IT space. He has held a variety of progressive roles within various sectors, including Banking, Technology Services, Management Consulting, Mining and Oil & Gas. He is an ERP Enterprise Architect with a demonstrated history of working with clients to realize maximum returns from Technology Investments. He has worked in several projects across multiple geographies in ERP Consulting/Implementation, Project Management, Business Analysis, Change Management, Business and Digital Transformation, SAP S4/HANA and Microsoft Dynamics.

Osita is passionate about seeing immigrants of colour accelerate, grow, advance their careers and earn the salaries they deserve. He has spearheaded the fight against unemployment and underemployment of BIPOC professionals through these thriving organizations which he founded – Nigerian IT Professionals in Canada (NIPCA), BlackTECH Hub and Expertedge Group. Osita holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with an MBA specializing in General Management and lots of Tech certifications which include; SAP Certified Technology Professional, Oracle Certified Professional, Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Six Sigma Certified Green Belt (CSSGB) and IBM DB2 Technical Professional. He is an alumnus of the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, Schulich School of Business and Harvard Business School.

Canadian Black Scientists Network – Sponsored by BMO

The Canadian Black Scientists Network (CBSN) is a national coalition of Black people possessing or pursuing higher degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine/Health (STEMM), together with Allies who are senior leaders with a demonstrated commitment to action for Black inclusion. Their network is young and growing. They were founded by a small group of faculty and held our first meeting in July 2020. Since then, we have expanded to include hundreds of members from across the country, including academics, graduate students and postdocs, research administrators, and STEMM practitioners.

They have established a very active steering committee of volunteers, an online presence, and are increasingly recognized as the face of a multidisciplinary, national vanguard of Black excellence in STEMM. The CBSN strives for inclusion of the complex and intersectional identities that are manifest in Black Canadians, Black people living in Canada, and Black Canadians living abroad. They seek to build a network in which all feel that they belong, and can contribute to programs and strategic directions that they value.

Black Law Student’s Association – Sponsored by IG Wealth Management

The Black Law Students’ Association of Canada (BLSA Canada) is a national student-run organization founded in 1991. We are committed to supporting and enhancing academic and professional opportunities for Black law students in both official languages. This commitment extends to Black high school and undergraduate students and the community generally through our mentorship initiatives and our scholarship program: BLSACares. BLSA Canada and its chapters at law schools nationwide are concerned with challenges faced by the Black community as they relate to the legal system.

Launching various initiatives to promote increased representation of Black students in law schools and assist in facilitating their success are a priority. We are proud to provide opportunities for formal and informal discussions about many subjects, including legal policy issues, effective career strategies, evolutions in substantive law and access to justice for marginalized groups. We reflect the diversity of the African/Black/Caribbean experience and welcome allies from all backgrounds who also seek to make a meaningful contribution to the furtherance of justice.

Health Association of African Canadians – Sponsored by CREA

The Health Association of African Canadians (HAAC) was formed in 2000 to address African Canadian health issues and the system inequities affecting health. Prompting the formation of HAAC was a project was sponsored by the Dalhousie School of Nursing and the Atlantic Center of Excellence for Women’s Health.  The project focused on women’s health but stakeholders quickly acknowledged that women’s health could not be examined in isolation. Thus, HAAC was formed with the understanding that women’s health was a subset of the health of the entire family.  Today, HAAC has a broad mandate and ready to implement a business plan with the goals, objectives and deliverables to meet its needs.

Vision:  Thriving, healthy African Canadian Communities in Nova Scotia.

Mission:  to promote and improve the health of African Canadians in Nova Scotia through community engagement, education, policy recommendations, partnerships and research participation.

Congratulations to all the Community Champion Award Winners!