Every day in communities across Canada, tireless individuals are working to bring people together and build a better future. At TD, we are proud to support many of these organizations through The Ready Commitment, our own corporate social responsibility blueprint, which is designed to help open doors for a more inclusive tomorrow.
In celebration of Black History Month, we have collected a handful of stories in the above video that focus on remarkable individuals from organizations we support through The Ready Commitment, each of which shines a spotlight on the journeys and narratives of black voices.
Here are some of the inspiring stories of everyday leaders that demonstrate the shared experiences that connect us all.
Dr. Kenneth Montague
Founding Director, Wedge Curatorial Projects
Dentist, Word of Mouth Dentistry
Literally wedged inside the hallway of his home, Dr. Kenneth Montague started Wedge Curatorial Projects (WCP) in 1997 as a way to showcase and wedge black artists into the mainstream market. Today this non-profit organization hosts lectures and organizes exhibits that explore Diasporic narratives, identity and issues of representation. For over 20 years WCP has been working with local and international artists to create original exhibitions, collaborate with guest curators and artists, host lectures and educational programs, publish books, and programming that speak to youth about shaping their own identity.
"That future is going to be about diversity, about celebrating the difference, but also seeing the sameness between us. A saying that my father always used to tell me: 'lifting as we rise.' So as you become successful, you've got to pull your hand back and pull people up."
Dr. Eugenia Duodu
Chief Executive Officer, Visions of Science Network for Learning
The mission of Visions of Science Network for Learning is to inspire, elevate and empower youth from low income and marginalized communities through engagement with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through consistent initiatives, including summer learning camps, curriculum integrations, community clubs and mentorship, Visions provides experiential STEM learnings for youth to help build skills, confidence and empower them to pursue careers to help them fully participate in the workforce of tomorrow.
"I just loved the way science unlocked this curiosity within me. I decided to have a look at my science text book. I was looking for a black woman and I did not see myself in science."
"The more diversity in thought, the better. We're developing leaders who are ready and willing to contribute to solving the problems they see in their community and perhaps the problems that we see globally."
President, Ontario Black History Society
Scholar, York University
The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) was founded in 1978 with the purpose to celebrate, preserve and bring Black Canadian history to the forefront. It is the only Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization of the Ministry of Culture devoted to Black history and heritage. OBHS was the pioneer in initiating and gaining formal recognition for the celebration of Black History Month in Canada and this effort continues to ensure this legacy is passed down and carried forward by the upcoming generations.
"I wanted to bring [Black] history into the classroom to ensure that young people were learning about it. We're decentering one particular narrative and making space for many more…Young people were able to dispel some of the myths that they're exposed. They also have an important role to play in continuing the work of our ancestors."
To learn more about The Ready Commitment and how TD's opening doors for a more inclusive tomorrow visit www.td.com/thereadycommitment. To find TD Black History Month events in your community visit www.td.com/blackhistorymonth for more details.