Community empowerment through the Black Opportunity Fund

23 Mar 2021


Spearheaded by a coalition of black Canadian executives and established in 2020, the Black Opportunity Fund (BOF) is Canada's most ambitious investor fund dedicated to ​supporting Black community organizations, businesses ​and entrepreneurs. The fund's primary aim is 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. It represents a dynamic partnership involving businesses, philanthropists, foundations, and the Black community.

AfroToronto spoke with Ray Williams, Managing director and Vice-Chair at National Bank Financial. As the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Black Opportunity Fund, Williams is part of the inaugural Board of Directors. The Black Opportunity Fund has an ambitious goal of raising $1.5 billion in 10 years to finance Black-led initiatives.

The BOF has recently appointed a 19-member permanent Board of Directors hailing from cities and regions across the country, and named Craig Wellington as the inaugural Executive Director.

"This is the next step in Black Opportunity Fund's development," as Ray Williams said.

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It takes a village: How Ounce of Prevention (Oz) is tackling the classroom to prison pipeline

05 Sep 2020


Sobering statistics highlight that while African-Canadians make up 3% of the general population, they account for 10% of the federal prison population. Black Canadians represent the fastest-growing group in federal prisons and are vastly overrepresented behind bars. Sadly, the trends continue to head in the wrong direction, as a recent study revealed 70% more black Canadians in federal prisons today than there were ten years ago.

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