How York alumni are advancing initiatives in Black communities

February 9, 2021 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm America/Toronto Timezone
Zoom Webinar

This lunchtime webinar brings together graduates from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies who are currently involved in various initiatives addressing anti-black racism, to share about their work in this area. Join us as we discuss their path to success and learn valuable insights Hosted by Associate Dean, Students, Michele Johnson. Includes Q&A session.


Ahmed Ismail Headshot

Ahmed Ismail

• Ahmed Ismail, BCom 2013, Vice President at Wellington Management

Ismail is responsible for developing and enhancing Wellington Management’s working relationships with investment consulting firms across Canada. This work encompasses close engagement with business development, relationship management, and product and portfolio management teams as they interact with the consultant community.

Prior to joining Wellington Management in 2018, Ismail worked as an associate in the Institutional Client Group at Burgundy Asset Management (2016 – 2018) and as a business development manager/inside wholesaler at RBC Global Asset Management (2013 – 2016).

Ismail earned his Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in finance from York University (2013). Ismail is also the co-founder of the Black Opportunity Fund.

Closeup of Danielle Dowdy

Danielle Dowdy

• Danielle Dowdy, BA, Economics 2003Advisor, Strategic Policy & Stakeholder Relations at Toronto Police Services Board

Dowdy serves as an advisor to the Toronto Police Services Board on matters related to policy analysis and development, as well as stakeholder relations. Through her work, Dowdy is responsible for deepening the Board’s engagement with the communities it is accountable to and strengthening their governance abilities.

Dowdy is a business professional with extensive experience in the areas of strategic planning, community development and youth employment. Passionate about community service, she has spent over 20 years working across communities. Professionally, she has worked at the Toronto Police Service for 12 years in many roles, all centered on working with communities on innovative programs. Her proudest accomplishment has been architecting the Youth in Policing Initiative and building a model that has been replicated across the province in over 22 police services in Ontario. Dowdy recently served as senior strategic initiatives lead to the Honorable Justice Michael Tulloch on the Independent Police Oversight Review and the Independent Street Checks Review.

Joan Jenkinson Headshot

Joan Jenkinson

• Joan Jenkinson, BA, Sociology 1987Executive Director at Black Screen Office

Jenkinson is the inaugural executive director of the Black Screen Office which supports, nurtures and promotes the creation of Black Canadian stories globally.

Jenkinson was vice president of independent production for VisionTV where she commissioned, developed and executive produced hundreds of hours of award-winning creative content in all genres. Jenkinson spearheaded VisionTV’s ground-breaking DiverseTV/NSI initiative which helped to launch the careers of Black producers and creatives.

For five years, Jenkinson served as executive director of Women in Film and Television - Toronto (WIFT-T), where she established professional development training and networking opportunities for women in screen-based media.

Marlon Reid Headshot

Marlon Reid

• Marlon Reid, BCom 1996, Community General Manager at CIBC

Reid is a leader in CIBC’s Personal and Business Banking strategic business unit serving as a Community General Manager on the frontlines working to build meaningful relationships with clients through exemplary service and advice. Prior to this, Reid served as director-business effectiveness, CIBC Commercial Banking and Wealth Management and as designated complaints officer (DCO) for the bank providing leadership, strategic analysis, and direction to a high performing team of industry professionals, executive leadership, and internal business partners to resolve client dissatisfaction within a complex and stringent regulatory framework.

Reid previously worked at TD Securities in progressive roles. As vice president, Global Counterparty Credit – Investment Banking, Reid led a high performing function supporting global energy markets, global precious metals, global foreign exchange, asset securitization and commercial paper businesses. His focus involved negotiation and deal execution of TD's energy origination transactions in addition to various other over-the-counter derivative and capital market transactions.   In this capacity, Reid developed an industry reputation as a skillful, but "disarming" negotiator. Reid also served in leadership roles on TD Bank's Diversity Leadership effort and currently holds a seat on the Steering Committee on CIBC’s Black Employee Network. Click here to read more.

Nadine Spencer Headshot

Nadine Spencer

• Nadine Spencer, BA, Political Science 2004, CEO at BrandEQ Group

Spencer is the CEO and President of BrandEQ Group Inc., a global agency specializing in social change marketing, communications, and public relations. Spencer has accelerated strategic growth and brand visibility for a diverse client portfolio. She also pioneered BrandEQ Black, BrandEQ’s cultural sensitivity arm, whose goal is to work with a variety of conscious organizations to look at racial biases in advertising and marketing. Her proprietary “People Matter” strategy grabs attention, demands interaction, and generates long-term value for clients.

In addition to her work at BrandEQ, Spencer serves as president and CEO (volunteer) of the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA), which was founded in 1983. The BBPA is a charitable organization whose mission is to advance Canada's Black community by addressing equity and facilitating the delivery of programs that support business and professional excellence, higher education, and economic development. Click here to read more.

To register for this event, click here.