This Virtual Classroom discussion on excelling in your dream career and igniting the next generation’s spark featured highly accomplished mentors from Canada’s Black community: Rosey Edeh, three-time Olympian and TV anchor; Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education; Layth Gafoor, sports and entertainment lawyer and Dr. Teela Johnson, resident in family medicine. Dr. George Elliott Clarke, poet, playwright, professor and Officer of the Order of Canada moderated this Virtual Classroom, which took place on February 19, 2015. The event included a special performance by Thompson Egbo-Egbo, jazz pianist; Shawn Byfield, renowned choreographer and dancer; and Sean Mauricette, a.k.a. Subliminal, beatboxer.
Rosey Edeh, three-time Olympian and TV anchor; Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education; Layth Gafoor, sports and entertainment lawyer and Dr. Teela Johnson, resident in family medicine.
Dream big: Make an impact in a diverse workforce and your community
For Black History Month, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Heritage Toronto connected students from across Canada together—virtually—with four accomplished Black professionals to talk about how to achieve their highest career aspirations in a diverse workplace and give back to their communities. Students joined us from coast to coast to coast for this panel discussion, as we streamed live from the Daniels Spectrum auditorium in Regent Park, Toronto—one of Canada’s most multicultural neighbourhoods.
Outstanding Black role models—both for their career achievements and their extensive community outreach work—Rosey Edeh, Dr. Teela Johnson, Layth Gafoor and Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow inspired and mentored high school, college and university students gearing up to enter the workforce.
With a focus on the challenges Black students face as they transition into the workplace, these dynamic speakers shared valuable advice and talked frankly about their own experiences overcoming obstacles to excel in their diverse fields. They spoke about their personal mentors and gave participants pointers on how to find outstanding mentors in their own communities—as well as how to become mentors to the next generation.
This Virtual Classroom has enriched students of all cultural backgrounds: they learned about the barriers members of Canada’s minority communities often face and about the outstanding contributions of Black Canadians to our society.