BlackNorth Initiative

Roots expands partnership with BlackNorth Initiative offering Canadian athletes support through their “Athletes on Track” program

Roots expands partnership with BlackNorth Initiative offering Canadian athletes support through their “Athletes on Track” program February 29, 2024

TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2024 /CNW/ – Global lifestyle brand, Roots Corporation (“Roots,” or the “Company”) (TSX: ROOT), is proud to partner with BlackNorth Initiative (BNI), to join their “Athletes on Track” program as a sponsor for the 2024-2025 year. Athletes on Track” is a bursary and mentorship program designed to financially support university student-athletes and supply them with the tools necessary to enter, and thrive in, the job market once they graduate. The initiative consists of a bursary, which will be awarded to two Black student-athletes. A mentor is also provided to each student by BNI for support in general skill development, along with career path guidance based on their area of studies.

As a proud Canadian company, Roots has a long-standing tradition of celebrating athletics and youth in Canada. The partnership with BlackNorth Initiative is dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within Canadian businesses and eliminating systemic barriers that adversely impact Black Canadians. Roots will expand their involvement in this initiative as part of their aim to broaden their positive influence on Black youth and professionals.

“We’re delighted to strengthen our partnership with Roots, supporting the “Athletes on Track” Program,” says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, CEO of BlackNorth Initiative. “This collaboration highlights our mutual commitment to empowering Black student-athletes in Canada with financial support and mentorship. It’s a step forward in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, paving the way for these athletes to excel in sports and their future careers.”

Roots donation program, Roots Cares, supports various organizations within the communities in which Roots operates. Through Roots Cares, the brand will support the “Athletes on Track” initiative, which will continue to build a positive impact on Canadian Black youth in athletics. An original signatory of BlackNorth Initiative in 2020, Roots also signed the CEO pledge, a commitment to actively work toward the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers that are negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians in the workplace. The pledge also acknowledges the existence of anti-Black racism and its impact on Canada’s Black communities, and the need to create opportunities within a company for Black people.

“I’m thrilled to extend our commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, reinforcing that representation is key to collective success. Together, we empower Black youth in athletics, breaking down barriers and paving the way for a more inclusive and vibrant Canadian future,” shares President & CEO of Roots Corporation, Meghan Roach.

To learn more about Roots Cares, please visit, and to learn more about BlackNorth Initiative and their programs, please visit


The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business-first mindset. We are committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. For more information, visit and follow us on social media @blacknorthca.


Established in 1973, Roots is a global lifestyle brand. Starting from a small cabin in northern Canada, Roots has become a global brand with over 100 corporate retail stores in Canada, two stores in the United States, and an eCommerce platform,, that serves over 55 international markets. We have more than 100 partner-operated stores in Asia, and we also operate a dedicated Roots-branded storefront on in China. We design, market, and sell a broad selection of products in different departments, including women’s, men’s, children’s, and gender-free apparel, leather goods, footwear, and accessories. Our products are built with uncompromising comfort, quality, and style that allows you to feel at home with nature. We offer products designed to meet life’s everyday adventures and provide you with the versatility to live your life to the fullest. We also wholesale through business-to-business channels and license the brand to a select group of licensees selling products to major retailers. Roots Corporation is a Canadian corporation doing business as “Roots” and “Roots Canada”. For more information, visit and follow Roots on social media@roots. 

Media Inquiries:
Marta Sadowski, Sundae Creative Agency 

Shelton Mpala
Associate Director of Strategic Communications
BlackNorth Initiative