Resources for Black Students
Many students have concerns about planning their careers; for some Black students, there may be additional aspects to consider. Canada exists as what Ryerson professor and CCPA research associate Grace-Edward Galabuzi calls an “economic apartheid.” The concept is used to describe the way the Canadian labour market and economy are structured as racially stratified systems in which Black people are confined to the lowest rungs of financial well-being.
It is important to acknowledge such challenges given the labour market and employment outcomes for Black people. According to Statistics Canada, the Black population experienced consistently higher rates of unemployment than the rest of the population even within post-secondary education: Black workers unemployment rates were greater (at a rate of 9.2%) than non-Black workers (5.3%). That gap has grown significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, the unemployment rate for Black Canadians was 16.8%, while the national average was 11.2%.
Many companies and organizations are dedicating themselves to being diverse and inclusive employers, and to providing resources to support Black people who face barriers to employment. The following resources can guide career development professionals in supporting Black students and jobseekers in finding meaningful employment and advancing their career.
If you would like to discuss issues related to your career decision-making, our Career Counsellors can help; please make an individual appointment by calling 905-828-5451 or come see us at DV 3094.
We can help you to understand what is important to you in making your career decision and how to translate that into career options and potential employers.
Job Boards and Training Opportunities
This award-winning online magazine, funded by the Government of Canada, offers a list of job postings and a free business directory for Black Canadian-owned businesses.
Canada’s Best Diversity Employers is a competition among Canadian employers that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs, including programs for members of visible minorities. They offer an online tool for finding jobs (at the bottom of the webpage) at some of these companies.
Part of CAFCAN, a registered charitable organization dedicated to strengthening the service framework for African Canadian children, youth and families, Caribbean African Canadian Social Services seeks to help clients succeed in their job search.
This Toronto-based charity offers training programs and an online job board as part of its mission to address economic and social barriers that affect Black youth (ages 14+) who are not in employment, education or training (NEET). The organization works with Black youth, their families, employers and the community in the following areas: career training, sector growth and social enterprise.
This online job board features well-paying job opportunities with companies that support diversity.
James Clark School of Engineering provides a list of external job boards that features companies that support diversity and inclusion, including the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of colour) community.
This mentoring program supports Black, Indigenous and newcomer communities (with priority for women and youth) who are preparing for work or have been recently employed as apprentices or professionals in the construction industry. NexGen Builders also has an online job board.
Professional Associations and Organizations
The BBPA is a charitable organization that aims to advance Canada’s Black communities by offering programs that support business and professional excellence, higher education and economic development. This includes courses and videos, as well as resources for young professionals, youth entrepreneurial development and entrepreneurship.
Nia Centre for the Arts is a Toronto-based charitable organization that supports, showcases, and promotes an appreciation of arts from across the Afro-Diaspora. Nia Centre offers a Youth Mentorship & Engagement program which provides youth and emerging artists the opportunity to explore a wide range of creative pathways, expand their artistic abilities and build supportive connections with their peers and career artists.
Manyatta's mission is to create professional networking opportunities for the African Diaspora. Manyatta champions positive change by showcasing social entrepreneurs and organizations which are making a positive impact in our community. Manyatta brings professionals together who are all experienced in their own right in a space.
The mission of the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) is to educate, advocate, and litigate to combat individual and systemic anti-Black racism in Ontario. BLAC is a non-profit community legal clinic that provides free legal services for low or, no-income Black residents of Ontario. They provide legal advice related to employment, work, education, and human rights in general.
The Jamaican Canadian Association offers a scholarship program designed to recognize excellence and support access to post-secondary education for students of Caribbean and African heritage who are pursuing studies at an Ontario university or college. Each available scholarship offers at least
$500. The next program opens in spring 2021.
Onyx Initiative aspires to be a catalyst for the professional growth and development of Black Canadians as they launch their careers after university/college, helping them through access to placements, mentorship and professional development.
Updated as of January 13, 2021