Dec 06, 2021

Alliance for the Black Employee Experience and Leadership (ABEEL) Team Announces New Foundation

In December 2020, EllisDon’s Alliance for the Black Employee Experience and Leadership (ABEEL) team officially launched the inaugural Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program. The program provided Canadian students in five cities the opportunity to share their vision of a world that is inclusive, and without racism. Works of poetry, visual art, photography, music, and videos flooded ABEEL’s inbox as students shared their experiences and optimism for the future through original submissions.

With the support of their teachers and educators, students put their creative thoughts together to express how they see the world and gave us a glimpse of where society could be headed – the good, the bad, and the ugly. They also shared their perspectives, experiences, and their hopes and dreams. Winners of the programs received education bursaries, mentoring, and support for their schools and communities that focused on their mental health and empowerment. The Shaping the Future Program started with an idea, a hope for a better future. That idea has grown to allow for more opportunities, increased accessibility, and greater exposure to career opportunities for students of all identities within some of Canada’s most underserved communities, with a primary focus on encouraging Black student participation.

“It has been my honour to bear witness and have played a small part in the impact of the Program. It has left me feeling more aware, hopeful and motivated to continue our inclusive diversity efforts by removing as many barriers to opportunity as possible,” said Jennifer Khan, Head of Inclusive Diversity.

Click here to review the winning submissions and testimonials.

EllisDon is pleased to announce that the Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program will now be exclusively run via an independent, non-profit Organization – The ABEEL Foundation. This change will expand the impact of the program by providing members of these communities more access to a multitude of industry individuals and organizations. The ABEEL Foundation will carry out its work under the leadership of its founding members, Program Directors, Advisory Board and Board members. While EllisDon and the ABEEL Foundation are two separate entities, EllisDon will continue to support the program’s students and involved communities.

With the imminent expansion of the Foundation’s reach and impact, EllisDon will look to elevate new internal leaders for its anti-Black racism efforts.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with EllisDon’s Anti-Black Racism team. It has been a very emotional experience listening to their stories, their experiences and hearing about the barriers that Black people face in our industry. Specific to the Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program, I look forward to seeing how the Program grows under the exclusive leadership of the ABEEL Foundation, and I am excited to continue doing my part of leading the way towards inclusion for our industry,” said Kieran Hawe, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Vice President, Construction Operations.

“In dealing with systemic issues like Anti-Black racism and others, I always believe that we need as many like-minded people and organizations allying together on ideas that can help breed systemic change to address systemic issues. The Shaping the Future Sponsorship program is one of those ideas for the ABEEL Foundation. We look forward to more individuals, community members, and organizations following in the leadership of EllisDon - allying with youth, educational systems and more to shape a beautiful future,” said Samuel O. Ajobo, Founding Member, ABEEL Foundation.

EllisDon’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and continues to drive the industry forward. EllisDon wishes all the best to the new ABEEL Foundation and is confident that it will continue to bring about meaningful opportunities to everyone involved.

ABOUT ABEEL Foundation: www.abeelfoundation.ca

For Media Enquires: ask@abeelfoundation.ca