Emancipation Day was August 1st, and 182 years ago enslaved people were freed. I have had many discussions with our treasurer, Michael Pinnock, on the various issues we have to deal with as a Black community, and about how we can help facilitate equality and freedom. During one conversation, he said “Nadine, Black men (people) should not die in their beds while sleeping. Instead, if they must die, it should be in a fight for what is right, never giving up”. I think of this often, and how we must continue to fight, working toward true emancipation, not just for ourselves, but for our children, future generations, and society as a whole
This is the work the BBPA has been committed to doing for the last 38 years–and the trajectory we are planning for the next 100 years is one that will work to build, grow, elevate, and strengthen our Black community, which will by extension strengthens all members in our society. I’m very proud to share with you the latest news about what is happening and what we have planned for the future. It gives me satisfaction to know that we are working for what is right and striving toward a better tomorrow.
We are pleased to report the many recent accomplishments of the BBPA. Number one on our list has been adding to the professional capabilities of the association by adding management talent who will help us better serve the Black Business and Professional community. We are exceedingly proud to report that we have brought on an outstanding new executive director, Frances Delsol.
Frances has served the BBPA as a director and corporate secretary and will be managing the many complex programs we are now launching. Please join me in welcoming Frances to her new role.
One of our other major initiatives, the revival and preservation of the Little Jamaica community in Eglinton West
, has also made progress. We are working closely with Toronto’s Department of Economic Development and Culture and its Anti-Black Racism Unit to achieve the goals we have set out for the neighborhood, including revival and recovery, and helping it to become the shopping and dining destination it deserves to be. We are very excited about what can be accomplished in this vital area, so close to the Allen Road and the eventual Crosstown LRT.
Members have been asking us how they can locate other people involved in the association to network with and do business together. The BBPA has launched a Black business directory
Many of our members are exceptional at what they do, and we look forward to hearing about how everyone is helping each other during this difficult time.
An important part of our mission at the BBPA is to promote Black businesses and Black professionals to the community at large, and our new Professional Opportunities Portal (POP)
will accomplish precisely that. We look forward to featuring our members through the portal as it becomes the hot spot for finding Black goods and services.
We also have a new membership platform, serving our existing members is a crucial part of what we do, but new members are the lifeblood of any organization and our future as a viable association. We believe the new platform will tell the BBPA story in a more attractive way and is certain to attract many new members. The more members we have, the greater our influence can be, allowing us to bring forward new programs to benefit the Black community.
We recently organized an hour-long panel discussion with Ogilvy Canada, called A Day in the Life of the Ogilvy Team. This was a great opportunity to look at careers in advertising, as well as the agency’s social responsibility. One of the world’s premier marketing and branding agencies, Ogilvy is a highly diverse organization with many people of colour and individuals from all around the world, working together right here in Toronto. The BPPA served as the moderator of this event, and we heard from Ogilvy’s CEO John Killam and his highly diverse team from both French and English Canada. The large group of online participants was able to ask questions, learn about career opportunities at Ogilvy, and enjoy a detailed look into a potential new career. We will be arranging other encounters with leading businesses in the near future, and looking into career opportunities at those companies too.
The BBPA continues to work closely with the federal, provincial, and city governments as we continue to explore opportunities that can benefit the Black community.