D&I Leadership Council

Honouring Black History Month: Solidarity through action

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
12:00 PM
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Schedule:Online Program 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. PT

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The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council is proud to join people across the nation to celebrate the contributions and perseverance of Black Canadians during Black History Month and all year round.

We acknowledge that racial discrimination and anti-Black systemic racism is prevalent in Canada. It is our hope that the continued fight for equity and social justice remains at the forefront of our dialogue and reflection to inspire real action and change. As, The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, we stand firm in our commitment to stand in solidarity with our Members and colleagues from the Black community and call upon Greater Vancouver’s business community to join us in listening, learning, and taking action to fight against anti-Black racism.

The information presented will help inform businesses how they examine and adjust their HR to ensure they are hiring and promoting a diverse workforce which will ultimately help them best succeed through the challenging social and economic times brought on by the pandemic.

Session 1

In this session, our panel of experts from the local Black community will share firsthand invaluable insights to help us understand the barriers their Black colleagues and businesses face and provide tangible actions we can take to support and advance progress

This discussion will focus on:

  • Inclusive hiring practices and company culture
  • Board Participation
  • Supplier Diversity
  • Current Realities affecting Black businesses in Greater Vancouver


Nerissa Allen Rikka Bouseh Trish Mandewo Obrian Mvundura Michael Newman

Nerissa Allen, President, Black Business Association of BC
Rikka Bouseh, Vice President, HR & Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Envol
Trish Mandewo, Founder & CEO, Synergy On Boards Consulting Group | Coquitlam City Councillor
Obrian Mvundura, Director, Strategic Supply Chain Management, ICBC
Moderator: Michael Newman, Community Reporter, Global BC

Since July 2020, 300 and counting Senior Leaders from Canada's most prominent businesses have co-signed to the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism - BlackNorth Initiative. The Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business-first mindset.

Session 2

The BlackNorth Initiative believes that if corporate Canada can boldly take on the challenge to add gender diversity to Canadian boardrooms and executive suites by declaring policies, setting specific targets, and holding itself accountable, it can do the same work to create better representation for Black Canadians.

In this session, representatives from The BlackNorth Initiative will:

  • Introduce their Pledge to the Greater Vancouver business community
  • Share action and accountability
  • Share updates since their launch in July
  • Challenge Greater Vancouver businesses to take up the pledge and action


Dahabo Ahmed Omer Nadia Stewart

Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director, The BlackNorth Initiative
Moderator: Nadia Stewart, Videojournalist, Global BC

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This event is presented by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (DLC) Program. The DLC, an evolution of the Women's Leadership Council program, is an inclusive program that champions and advocates for leadership that best reflects the diversity of the Greater Vancouver region. The DLC focuses on addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion to encourage allyship and enhance business innovation. The DLC is committed to investing in the participation and promotion of underrepresented groups, while supporting the business community to achieve their diversity and inclusion goals. Learn more boardoftrade.com/programs.