BlackNorth Initiative

Congratulations to our Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Congratulations to our Lifetime Achievement Award Winners January 31, 2023

The Lifetime Achievement Awards, sponsored by Enbridge and HSBC, will be presented to an individual with at least ten years of documented accomplishments in championing the rights and freedoms of Black Canadians or who has significantly impacted many individuals and organizations.

The successful nominees were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BlackNorth Initiative Excellence Gala.

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners:

Honourable Donald H. Oliver, Q.C.

Don Oliver retired as a member of the Senate of Canada in 2013 after 22 years of service. He now resides at his beloved farm in Pleasant River, Queens County, Nova Scotia, reading, writing and meeting with friends.

Honourable Dr. Donald H. Oliver, Q.C. rose to serve with distinction as Speaker Pro Tempore (Deputy Speaker) in the Senate of Canada in Ottawa; as Chairman of six Standing Committees of Parliament; as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of seven Inter-parliamentary Associations; and as a ubiquitous spokesperson for Diversity, Pluralism, fairness and equality, for which he was awarded five Honorary Doctorate degrees from Canadian Universities.

Ever since he graduated from Acadia University in 1960 with a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in History and a Law Degree as a Sir James Dunn Scholar from Dalhousie Law School in 1963, he excelled in many other activities, including practicing and teaching Law.  He was also a highly sought-after lecturer and speaker throughout Scandinavia, London,   South America, Canada and the United States on aspects of Diversity and Inclusiveness, stressing the urgency of their fostering diverse and inclusive cultures.  With an appetite for the challenges of business, he was active in starting and running a variety of enterprises, from Real Estate to farming Christmas Trees.

One of the crowning achievements of his career as an outspoken social activist for the four employment equity target groups in Canada (women, the disabled, Aboriginal and Visible Minorities) was his seminal work in 2004 on systemic barriers to the advancement of minorities in both the Public and Private sectors in Canada.  He personally raised $500,000.00 to privately fund a research project he designed in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada, which final report comprised the most detailed, scientific and comprehensive study ever conducted in Canada on employment equity in the workplace. The Conference Board report was used as a model around the globe and throughout Canada on “how to” institute the business case for diversity in the workplace.

A shy, often private person, he strongly believed in giving back to the community and helping those not as fortunate as he was in life.  This included raising money and giving generously to various Canadian universities to fund Bursaries, Scholarships and prizes. Throughout his career, he served on more than 30 major charitable Canadian organizations and Boards, having risen to be the Chairman or President of many of them. He continues, even in retirement, to reach out on a regular basis to the African-Canadian Community to provide encouragement, advice, guidance and mentoring, particularly to African youth, to help them overcome the ravages of racism in Canada today.  He loves Canada and is a proud, passionate third-generation Canadian who devoted his life to do all he could to make it a better place to live.

Jane Omollo 

Born and raised in Kenya, Jane Omollo moved to Canada with her family in 2003 and has called Sault Ste Marie home since 2006. Jane is an active and passionate community leader and has over 20 years of experience working in cross-cultural environments to champion equitable inclusion for equity-deserving groups at both the organizational and community levels. Jane is a founding member of the African Caribbean Canadian Association of Northern Ontario (ACCANO), a not-for-profit community organization that was established in 2011 and has been ACCANO’s president until the summer of 2022.

Between 2020-2022, Jane was the director of a local Parents’ Caregivers and Guardians, an Ontario Trillium Foundation-funded program which provided newcomer parents, caregivers and guardians with system navigation and access to resources. Jane is the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Manager at Algoma University, a position she has held since 2020. Before assuming her current role, she worked as the newcomer manager of programs at the Sault Community Career Centre. As a co-founder and associate with Black Northern Consulting Inc., Jane brings her multilayered identity and lived experiences in supporting community partners with creating safe spaces for dialogue focused on social justice, anti-oppression, anti-racism education and awareness, as well as the prioritization and enhancement of equity, diversity and inclusion frameworks.

Congratulations again to Jane Omollo and Sen. Don Oliver.