OCAD University is collaborating with the Black Business & Professional Association (BBPA) to provide new opportunities for students. This partnership means up to 20 OCAD U students will obtain memberships to the BBPA, making them eligible for scholarships and mentorship through the association. Founded in 1983, the BBPA is a non-profit, charitable organization that addresses equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education and economic development.
In addition, the BBPA offices on Elm Street will serve as a hub for OCAD U’s Black student community through the new members and their guests.
“This partnership exemplifies how OCAD University breaks down barriers between the institution and our diverse Black communities in Toronto,” said Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, the first Black female dean of design anywhere. “Our Black students, faculty, and staff from around the world and the GTA now have opportunities to build a direct sense of cultural and professional belonging to the BBPA’s vast network of Black professionals.”
“Our partnership with OCAD University is an important one for our association,” said BBPA President Nadine Spencer. “Our goals to encourage the pursuit of entrepreneurship, business, professional excellence, higher education and economic empowerment, are met at every level with this relationship.”
Students from the Design4program, run by OCAD U’s Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers, are currently working under the guidance of a faculty member to create a youth oriented sub-brand for BBPA and to support the BBPA Harry Jerome Awards, the most prestigious national awards gala in the African-Canadian community and a symbol of achievement.