OCAD University’s Black Sparks initiative receives support from Ford Foundation

Friday, July 26, 2019 - 1:15pm

The Black Sparks fundraising campaign will support Black artists and designers by funding OCAD U’s Black Youth Design Initiative. This initiative includes “Imagine, Make and Connect” workshops for 8–12 year-old Black youth as well as the Design4 program, which provides paid professional opportunities to upper-year OCAD U students.

The Ford Foundation’s commitment of $65,000 is Black Sparks’ biggest donation yet and Dr. Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, couldn’t be happier to secure it. Said Tunstall, who herself is the first Black and Black female dean of a university or college design faculty, “This spark will help us ignite our Black Youth Design Initiative. The donation will support entrepreneurial efforts in the Design4 program to place nine students and recent alumni within three Black community organizations.”

"Because design is the way humans remake the world, we support OCAD University's efforts to increase capacity in Black communities to remake our worlds so that they are more equitable, just, and expressive of our rich cultures," said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. 

The Black Sparks fundraising campaign seeks to recruit 100 Black leaders who will commit to contributing $100 CAD a month in support of OCAD University’s Black students, faculty, staff and community partners. It’s a part of the transformational fundraising effort known as Ignite Imagination: The Campaign for OCAD University.

The institution’s first Black Spark came from artist and OCAD U alumnus Gordon Shadrach, who donated one of his paintings to the annual university art auction Project 31, raising $3,600 for the Black Youth Design Initiative.

You can join the Black Sparks movement by donating $100 per month. Please visit ocadu.convio.net/100x100BlackSparks for more information.