BlackNorth Initiative

CIBC and the BlackNorth Initiative Youth Accelerator Now Accepting Applications

CIBC and the BlackNorth Initiative Youth Accelerator Now Accepting Applications October 26, 2021

BGC Canada to administer multi-year program to help empower the next generation of leaders and changemakers from the Black community

TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2021 /CNW/ – CIBC is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the Youth Accelerator, an initiative aimed at removing barriers for the next generation of leaders from the Black community by supporting their education and career ambitions. This new, multi-year program has been developed in collaboration with the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) and is part of CIBC’s commitment to removing barriers and helping members of the Black community achieve their ambitions.

The Youth Accelerator will provide students from the Black community with $50,000 over four years for tuition, mentorship, financial education, and opportunities to secure paid internships or co-ops with other signatories of the BlackNorth CEO Pledge. Signatories include hundreds of businesses in a variety of sectors, offering students a broad platform for career discovery.

“CIBC is committed to helping end anti-Black systemic racism and that means tackling barriers that exist in our society today,” said Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice-President, Purpose, Brand and Corporate Affairs, CIBC. “In consultation with leaders from the Black community, we have developed an innovative program that will create a positive, long-term impact. It’s just one way we are taking concrete action aimed at making meaningful progress in addressing the inequity that exists today.”

“We are looking forward to working with CIBC on their partnership with BGC Canada to create real opportunity for the next generation of leaders from the Black Community,” says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative. “This initiative uniquely offers changemakers and emerging leaders in underrepresented communities with the resource they need – to fully participate in post-secondary education without financial barriers. The BlackNorth Initiative is proud to support where both access and inclusion are a priority”

BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Club of Canada) is leading outreach and selection, working closely with CIBC and the BlackNorth Initiative to engage up to 30 candidates to be involved in the program in 2022.

“BGC Clubs across the country see firsthand the effects of systemic racism and we respond by opening our doors to young people of all backgrounds and identities and building social safety nets to catch those who fall into the gaps,” said Owen Charters, President & CEO, BGC Canada. “Having the support of CIBC and the BlackNorth Initiative will help us make great strides in our mission to remove barriers and create opportunities for Black youth.”

Students eligible for the program must be enrolled in Grade 10 as of the 2021/22 school year, with applications open until February 28th, 2022.

Applications can be submitted via Selected recipients will be notified of their involvement beginning in March 2022.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Small Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at

About BlackNorth Initiative

The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business-first mindset. We are committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadian.

About BGC Canada

For 120+ years, BGC Canada has been creating opportunities for millions of Canadian kids and teens. As Canada’s largest child and youth serving charitable and community services organization, our Clubs open their doors to young people of all ages and their families at 736 locations nationwide. During out-of-school hours in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities, our trained staff and volunteers provide programs and services that help young people realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, job readiness, mental wellness, social development, leadership, and more. Opportunity changes everything. Learn more at and follow us on social media @BGCCAN.


For further information: Josh Burleton, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-304-2712 /

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