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Canada NewsWire

Informative & Inspiring Black History Month Campaign to Run on All Onyx Social Media Platforms in February

Inaugural Ambassador Team Hails from British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick & Ontario

TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2023 /CNW/ - Onyx Initiative, a Toronto based non-profit established to bridge the pervasive gap in the recruitment, selection, and retention of Black college and university students, and recent graduates for roles in corporate Canada is excited to recognize and celebrate the vast achievements of the many Black changemakers who have made, and continue to make, significant social, political, academic, judicial, technological, financial, and entertainment contributions that impact the lives of all Canadians in meaningful ways.

Onyx's Black History Month campaign kicks off on Wednesday, February 1st and will feature a different notable Black Canadian's profile every day. The video messages, recorded by the organization's staff, scholars, and supporters, will highlight facts about each person and the way in which they defied the odds, paved the way for others in their respective industries, created widely used inventions, lend their time and talent to important causes, or dazzle on stages, screens, and in stadiums.

"Growing up, there wasn't a lot of emphasis on Black History Month in schools or in general, I am thrilled to see the evolution that has occurred over the past several years as this type of collective awareness and appreciation enhances efforts to build bridges of understanding, equity, and respect," said Nigela Purboo, Co-founder and Executive Director, Onyx Initiative. "One of our key objectives with this endeavour is to be intentional about showcasing an intriguing mix of well-known, current and historical figures and unsung trailblazers who are responsible for everything from inventing the device to help trains run smoothly to establishing the first, racially integrated school."

Optimism around Onyx's ability to shine a bright light on high achievers whose abilities and accomplishments have gone unnoticed stems from the progress the organization has made, since its inception in October 2020, in creating mutually beneficial opportunities for more than 55 corporate partners, like TD, Bell, Amazon, Lululemon, PwC, Hyundai, and Walmart Canada, to connect with the 500+ participants in its Scholars Program, many of whom have landed roles that they previously did not have visibility or access to.

"We established Onyx on the fundamental principles of knowledge equals power and access equals opportunity," said Wayne Purboo, Co-founder, Onyx Initiative. "Through our Executive Fireside Chats, Employer Discovery Sessions, Mentorship Program, Career Coaching, and Job Readiness Workshops, we're constantly exposing our key stakeholders – scholars and employer partners – to information about each other. Being a conduit for learning is something we're extremely proud of and will continuously enhance through interpersonal and digital means."

Creating awareness is also the driving force behind Onyx's newly launched Campus Ambassador Program, which was born out of a desire to leverage both the positive feedback and success stories that scholars consistently share with the staff or on social media, and the power of authentic, peer-to-peer engagement to increase exposure for the program and the number of applications each year. The initial team of six ambassadors include students from University of British Columbia, University of New Brunswick, McGill, Queen's, York, and Brock Universities whose interests and leadership skills run the gamut from being the president of an academic society, a mentor, a member of the dean's list, and a student council member but whose reasons for signing up to participate – supporting others, networking, and making a difference – are closely aligned. Although situated on campuses, the tech-savvy group will lean into online tactics to complement their in-person recruitment strategies.

"I took on this role to stay connected with my community and make others aware of how Onyx's diverse resources can go a long way in helping them clearly define their academic and career goals, which often delivers positive professional outcomes," said David Enga, a Mechanical Engineering Student at McGill.

"There's strength in numbers is a fact that pertains to both the corporate partner, demand side of our business, which we have been able to sustain and grow despite waning social attention on DEI, and the supply side of high potential Black talent, which we know exists and have only scratched the surface in attracting," said Nigela. "Our Scholar Spotlights on social media, which highlight their good news about being hired or feature insights they want to share, are consistently the most liked and talked about posts, so bringing our scholars words and passion to life through an ambassador program felt like the next logical step in our evolution as changemakers."

The addition of four new community partners - the Federation of Black Canadians, Black Girl Collective, Black Engineers of Canada, and New Brunswick African Association - provides additional opportunities to pool resources and expand outreach efforts to potential scholars.

The application period for Onyx's fourth cohort is now open until March 31, 2023, with selections and onboarding slated for spring 2023. Interested applicants can go to ONYX INITIATIVE | APPLY For more information contact [email protected].


Onyx Initiative is a non-profit organization founded by entrepreneurs and philanthropists Wayne and Nigela Purboo in the wake of the global social justice movement and the subsequent call to action. The organization was established on the simple premise that anyone seeking meaningful employment and advancement, who is equipped and eager to fulfill the duties of a role, should have an equal opportunity to do so. Onyx's purpose is to expand the recruitment pipeline by offering comprehensive career development resources and forging mutually beneficial corporate, educational, and community partnerships to close the systemic gap in the hiring, retention and promotion of Black college and university students and recent graduates for roles in corporate Canada. Onyx's model is based on a dual and complementary value proposition - leverage post-secondary educational resources to create an expansive supply of high potential Black talent and collaborate with prominent businesses to nurture a growing demand for more inclusive internships and full-time placements.


Onyx Instagram

Onyx Twitter 

Onyx LinkedIn


Nicole Chrysostom-Murray, Communications Specialist
[email protected]

SOURCE Onyx Initiative

Cision View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2023/31/c9650.html

Copyright CNW Group 2023

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