Boyden is pleased to share the appointment news of 19 inaugural Board Directors, a recruitment led by Nick Chambers 

March 17, 2021 – Toronto, ON

Black Opportunity Fund (BOF), a dynamic partnership involving businesses, philanthropists, foundations, and the Black community, has appointed its inaugural Board of Directors in addition to naming Craig Wellington as the Executive Director of the organization. The Black Opportunity Fund was founded in 2020 to enable the Black community to access a pool of long-term funds to help combat the impact of systemic anti-Black racism and promote social and economic empowerment across Canada.

BOF’s new, permanent Board of Directors is comprised of 19 individuals from across Canada who have taken up the challenge of operating the ambitious, Black-led development fund. With a broad range of expertise across multiple sectors, the new Board includes members of BOF’s initial Steering Committee as well as a range of additional accomplished individuals dedicated to creating opportunities for Black communities.

“This is the next step in Black Opportunity Fund’s development,” said co-founder and newly appointed Chair of the Board, Ray Williams, a Managing Director and vice-chairman at National Bank. “In less than a year, we’ve established important relationships with many of our community leaders across the country, as well as with governments and private sector funders. We’re proud to also announce the appointment of our Executive Director, Craig Wellington. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Craig and the inaugural Board members as we transition forward from the initial Steering Committee into a full governance structure.”

“Black Opportunity Fund is exactly what is needed to make meaningful and lasting change for our Black communities across Canada,” added Craig Wellington. “I’m looking forward to working with the whole team to build our capital pool and to distribute funds to community organizations and advocates for Black advancement and Black entrepreneurship. There’s been an incredible response to BOF’s work in the past year and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Craig Wellington brings years of experience as a Community Organizer and leading executive, advising public and private sector firms on strategic planning, marketing and business development, as well as diversity and inclusion strategies. Craig has decades of experience working with organizations to address systemic bias in the criminal justice and education systems. He is a member of the City of Mississauga Mayor’s Black Caucus, an advisory board member of the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) of Peel Region, as well as a former member of the Toronto Chief of Police’s Black Community Consultative Committee. Craig brings his vision and leadership to the organization and will continue to grow the BOF’s investment fund and establish its first set of grants and low-interest loans to promote Black-led initiatives by the end of 2021.

Black Opportunity Fund - Inaugural Board of Directors

​Ray Williams, Ontario - Chair of the Board
Mark Attanasio, Ontario
Lori-Ann Beausoleil, Ontario
Charmaine Crooks, British Columbia
Charmain Emerson, Ontario
Madeleine Fequiere, Quebec
Colin Lynch, Ontario
Velma McColl, Ontario
Eleanor McIntosh, Ontario
Dennis Mitchell, Ontario
Vyara Ndejuru, Quebec
Chima Nkemdirim, Alberta
Lekan Olawoye, Ontario
Jaqui Parchment, Ontario
Dr. Bukola Salami, Alberta
Dr. Ato Sekyi-Otu, Ontario
Rustum Southwell, Nova Scotia
Wils Théagène, Quebec
Donna Walwyn, Ontario

The inaugural Board will be supplemented in the months ahead to ensure diversity1 skills and regional representation objectives are met.

The new Board met on Monday, March 15, for a review of the BOF accomplishments to date, and to discuss the governance transition of the Steering Committee to the inaugural board of directors.

About the Black Opportunity Fund

In 2020, a diverse team of Black Canadians, from around the country, came together to create a new way to serve and empower Black communities. They established the Black Opportunity Fund {BOF} - with an ambitious goal of raising $1.5 billion in 10 years - to fund Black-led initiatives.

Black Opportunity Fund will be a catalyst to dismantle anti-Black racism by supporting the social, cultural and economic changes required to advance diversity and inclusion at all levels in Canada's institutions, governments, and businesses.

The Black Opportunity Fund is a new approach, leveraging partnerships between Black communities, government, corporations, philanthropic foundations, and individuals to drive a historic transformation of Canada's Black communities.

For more information, please contact:

Charmain Emerson
Co-Founder and Communications Strategist Black Opportunity Fund
M: 416-857-9401
Linkedin: BlackOpportunityFund
Twitter: @BlkOpportunity
Instagram: @BlkOpportunity
Facebook Page: Black Opportunity Fund

Original Source: Black Opportunity Fund News 

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