Black Opportunity Fund: giving a boost to next generation of Black leaders


Craig Wellington and Ray Williams

Black Opportunity Fund and the University of British Columbia announced a new partnership to empower Black Canadian students to achieve their educational goals and career aspirations.

The partnership supports the development of a comprehensive program that will provide access to a range of opportunities for Black students at UBC, from awards to mentorship, internships, leadership conferences and networking opportunities while on campus.

Through the participation of the supporters of Black Opportunity Fund (BOF), students will also have access to opportunities for collaboration, leadership, and the exchange of ideas, both within the program and as they transition into life after university.

BFO is a partnership between the Black community, businesses, philanthropists, government, and foundations, with a mission of raising and mobilizing a permanent pool of capital to serve and empower the Black community. The organization’s goal is to raise $1.5 billion over 10 years to support initiatives that will help address the systemic injustices faced by Canada’s Black communities.

“In celebration of our first anniversary, Black Opportunity Fund is excited to be working with UBC as our first university partner to help advance our mission of combating the impact of systemic discrimination and anti-Black racism, and to promote social and economic empowerment across Canada,” says Black Opportunity Fund Executive Director Craig Wellington. “Partnerships like this are exactly what is needed to make meaningful and lasting change for Black students and Black communities across Canada.”

“We look forward to working closely with UBC to empower Black students to achieve their educational and career goals,” says Black Opportunity Fund Co-Founder and Chair of the Board Ray Williams. “This partnership will open countless doors for the next generation of Black leaders in Canada.”

By working together, Black Opportunity Fund and UBC hope to build a framework that can be adopted by other universities that wish to build similar programs.

“UBC is honoured to be working with Black Opportunity Fund to help give Black students access to a life-changing education,” says UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa J. Ono. “As an institution, we recognize the urgent need to take meaningful steps toward addressing the barriers that Black students often face in accessing a university education, persevering in their area of study, and then launching their careers.”

To mark the launch of the program, Black Opportunity Fund is establishing two full-ride awards for Black students to attend UBC. As part of the partnership, BOF will also promote giving opportunities through its fundraising efforts to support additional student awards and other program needs at UBC.