Dec 18, 2020

EllisDon's ABEEL Launches National Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program

Mississauga, ON, Dec. 18, 2020- EllisDon's Alliance of Black Employee and Leadership (ABEEL) launches the inaugural Shaping the Future Sponsorship Program enabling Canadian students to share their vision for a community that is more inclusive of the Black experience and without racism. This initiative will serve some of the most underrepresented and underserved communities in different areas of Canada.

"Helping to create a world, free of racism and discrimination, is a very important goal for EllisDon. It is so important to encourage students to help shape a path forward and help create an environment that's more BIPOC inclusive," said Kieran Hawe, COO and Executive Vice-President, Construction Operations, EllisDon, Executive Sponsor, ABEEL.

As part of this program, students will engage in meaningful dialogue about how they see racism manifest in their own lives, and what steps everyone can take towards a less hateful future. Student teams from across the country will use a creative medium of their choosing to bring their ideas to life, including creative writing, non-fiction writing, photography, music, video, or visual arts.

“We want to thank all the educators and staff members from across different schoolboards in Canada that are working tirelessly in a time like this, marred with COVID-19 and Social Injustices to ensure that through a program like this we can jointly pave the way to an awesome future," said Samuel Ajobo, P.Eng, Chair, ABEEL.

The initiative has been rolled out across four different schoolboards in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and lower mainland British Columbia led by Denroy Jackson and Siju Ewhubare, both Community Outreach Leaders for ABEEL. The fifth region, Edmonton is underway. The hope is to roll it into other areas of Canada and eventually the rest of the world, where EllisDon lives and works.

Schoolboard Support

"I am inspired by the EllisDon team regarding their efforts to address anti-Black racism by taking action. They have moved beyond talking about it to doing something about it. This contest will position students to impact their schools and communities, and provide students with funds which they can use towards their post-secondary education. Bravo EllisDon!" said Cherilyn Scobie Edwards, Principal, Ursula Franklin Academy, Toronto.

"Working closely with young people makes us so hopeful for the future – our students have wonderful ideas and are passionate about equity and equality; this program is a great way for them to have their voices heard and help the vital work of eradicating racism and prejudice in our society," said Marilyn Field, Executive Director, Education Matters, Calgary.

“We are excited to have our students participate in this positive initiative where they can be inspired to make a difference in their lives and their communities,” said Dorota Peacock, District Coordinator, Surrey Schools, British Columbia.

Winning teams from each region will be provided with resources and bursaries that will be distributed to their communities, to their schools and to the students themselves. Including, however not limited to access to mentorship opportunities (EllisDon-led or via Strategic Partnerships). Our hope is to inspire and empower the next generation of city planners, engineers, project managers, superintendents, and many other construction career paths.

For more information on this initiative (including focused neighbourhoods and how to apply) email: abeel@ellisdon.com

For a PDF version of the Press Release, click HERE.