Founded on the backdrop of racial discrimination and high tensioned racial issues in the United States and Canada with the tragic death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the Black Lives Matter movement. These events highlighted the role systemic racism plays in shaping the narrative of black bodies and lived experiences of black and coloured individuals. The disempowerment faced by blacks and people of colour based on the subtle or the not-so-subtle biases that are entrenched in systems are still prevalent today as it was many years ago. These biases emerge in our education system, criminal justice system, employment, surveillance and health care.
The founders of this movement wrestled with how to address/tackle two (2) of the biases/discrimination that blacks and people of colour face in Canada today which primarily are centered around education and employment. Also, how to address these issues from within the educational institution. As a student group within Schulich School of Business, this group had to be strategic in how it wanted to represent students who would join the organization and how it would advocate for its students who may feel that they don’t have a voice or may feel that they are alone and cannot create that needed action or change. This gave rise to the first and only black student group at the Schulich Graduate level, The Black Graduate Business Network (BGBN).
The objective of the BGBN is to facilitate a coalition of students that identify as members of the black community or as allies of the Black community within Schulich in order to: Showcase Schulich’s Diversity, Diversity of Corporate Canada and to help members succeed by providing the tools and guidance to foster holistic development. This intent has led to the recognition of the BGBN being the club of the year at Schulich 2020-2021, a momentous achievement within its first year of operation.
The BGBN seeks to foster and maintain meaningful relationships and partnerships with Corporate Canada and have recorded tremendous success working with a growing number of corporate partners including CIBC, Accenture, Altis Recruitment, Proctor & Gamble (P&G), Desjardin and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP). The BGBN continues to create a pipeline of black talent to flow into Corporate Canada addressing diversity and inclusion concerns. Black Entrepreneurship also represents a fundamental part of our objectives which is why the BGBN has leveraged relationships with trailblazing Black Entrepreneurs with established successful businesses such as Garrison, Reni, Andrew Perry and MetaDigital to participate at our events so students can learn from lived experiences.
The BGBN engages students through various seminars, workshops and networking events held through the year and presents an opportunity for students to get that personalized experience with meeting and speaking with recruiters from these various organizations and also top executives!
We look forward to welcoming all black graduate student to join this movement! Be apart of the FAMILY!