George Brown College proud to be a partner in the Onyx Initiative

Building Information Modelling student holding a laptop

George Brown College is proud to be a partner in an exciting initiative that aims to boost recruitment of Black students among Canadian corporations and create the conditions that will lead to continued career success. 

The Onyx Initiative launched October 21, 2020 with the goal of increasing representation of Black Canadians in the corporate world by providing students with mentorship and coaching, as well as online career skills training.  

“George Brown College is excited to be one of the early educational supporters of this important initiative. The disproportionate challenges Black students face in accessing corporate Canada is an enduring and pervasive issue," said Kizzy Bedeau, Director of the Community Partnerships Office at George Brown College. “We recognize this is a concerning issue and we are committed to helping change the employment outcomes of Black students by contributing to the dialogue, strategies and solutions that promote Black student success and their economic sustainability.” 

Onyx cites Statistics Canada data that shows Black Canadians with post-secondary degrees are under-represented in higher paying occupational groups compared to their white peers. Corporations have also said identifying candidates is a challenge, prompting Nigela and Wayne Purboo to launch the Onyx Initiative.  

"Current hiring practices adversely and disproportionately affect Black students who are often contending with a lack of family or social networks, a lack of knowledge about opportunities, and a lack of mentorships," Nigela said. "The gap is perpetuated in future years as these ambitious young people enter the job market, unable to secure positions in their chosen fields or equal opportunities for advancement within companies, which is essential for their progression into executive roles. The fact that so many brilliant change-makers are excluded from premier talent pools was not something we could just continue to observe."  

Stay tuned for more details on how George Brown students can get involved.