EllisDon’s ABEEL Announces Winners for National Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program

Mississauga, ON, February 26, 2021- EllisDon's Alliance of Black Employee Experience and Leadership (ABEEL) held the inaugural virtual ‘Shaping The Future Sponsorship Program’ event live on Thursday, February 25 to announce the winners behind the scholarship program.The program enables Canadian high school students to share their vision for a community that is more inclusive of the Black experience and without racism. Students were asked to apply by illustrating what a world without anti-Black racism looks like through any medium of their creative choosing including video, drawings, poems, essays, visual arts, and music.“EllisDon is so proud of all the student submissions and the hard work that went into them,” said Kieran Hawe, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Construction Operations. “The future of EllisDon and our industry belongs to those who stand up for what they believe in and we can’t wait to welcome the next generation of leaders to the industry.”The Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program was rolled out in December 2020 in five different cities across Canada; Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and lower mainland British Columbia, serving some of the most underrepresented and underserved communities.“When you engage youth into a conversation the one thing that you can be sure of is that they are going to tell you the truth. The students who participated in this project shared some of their innermost thoughts, emotions, experiences, and ideas around racism and inclusion,” said Jennifer Khan, Head of Inclusive Diversity at EllisDon. “As adults, we need to look at these submissions very carefully because these students have given us an unfiltered version of their present and what they hope for in the future — we must not squander that privilege.”The virtual event attendees included students, educators, and families from the school board communities and showcased the high school winners of the Sponsorship program. During the event, there were notable guest speakers such as Joan Manning, Mental Health Specialist, retired professional figure skater and TikTok phenomenon Elladj Baldé, and various senior leaders within EllisDon."Here at Edmonton Public Schools we know that change doesn’t happen overnight, but every journey starts with one step. The EllisDon project is one great example of how our students can be leaders in their schools and take important steps forward in creating school communities free of discrimination and full of hope for every student,” said Karen Linden, M.Ed. Edmonton Public Schools.With an abundance of submissions from students across the country, the EllisDon ABEEL team narrowed down five finalists from each city. The winners from each city are Northview Heights Secondary school, from Toronto, Ontario, Ecole secondaire publique Louis Riel, Ottawa, Ontario, Queen Elizabeth High School from Edmonton, Alberta, James Fowler High School, from Calgary, Alberta and City Central Learning Centre from British Columbia. ABEEL Support"I see my young self in these students; I have experienced their struggles. I see my children in these students; I carry the burden of their struggles. But more importantly, I see our future in these students; let’s continue to empower and shape the future of their success,” said Siju Ewhubare, People and Culture Manager and ABEEL Community Outreach Core Leader."When I was in high school I remember wishing I had a mentor in the construction industry to help guide me. Now I have the opportunity to be that Mentor for these students. I am saddened that these students are dealing with the same issues 10 years later but I am hopeful that together we can be the change,” said Denroy Jackson, Senior Project Coordinator and ABEEL Community Outreach Core Leader.To view all winning submissions, click here:

View the press release HERE