Craig Wellington appointed executive director of Black Opportunity Fund

Craig Wellington

Jamaica-born community organizer Craig Wellington has been appointed executive director of  Black Opportunity Fund (BOF), a partnership comprising “businesses, philanthropists, foundations and the Black community.”

Wellington is a member of the Mississauga Mayor’s Black Caucus, and an advisory board member of the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) of Peel Region.

He is also a former member of the Toronto Chief of Police’s Black Community Consultative Committee.

A news release from the BOF notes that  “Craig brings his vision and leadership to the organization and will continue to grow the BOF’s investment fund and establish its first set of grants and low-interest loans to promote Black-led initiatives by the end of 2021.”‘

The BOF was founded in 2020 ” to enable the Black community to access a pool of long-term funds to help combat the impact of systemic anti-Black racism and promote social and economic empowerment across Canada,” the release said.

A recent research report prepared by the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities and Carleton University’s Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership programme revealed that for every CDN$100 donated by that country’s philanthropic sector, only seven cents goes to black enterprises.

“The issue that BOF is trying to address is the wealth gap between blacks and whites. Black businesses and start-ups have significant challenges in accessing capital because of systemic, anti-black racism. Black community organisations are challenged to access grants,” he said.

He notes the appointment of the BOF’s 19-member inaugural Board of Directors..

Ray Williams, Chairman of the Board and a managing director and vice-chairman of National  Bank,noted that ” in less than a year, we’ve established important relationships with many of our community leaders across the country, as well as with governments and private sector funders.”