The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 but gained global momentum in 2020 after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Front and centre of the movement is the aim of stopping police brutality against Black and Indigenous people. However, the movement also advocates for policy changes that will create more equitable opportunities for Black and Indigenous people. The article, along with another entitled Black Professionals in Tech Network partners with Canadian companies to fight racism, by Josh O’Kane on July 30, 2020, outlines some positive action towards more equitable treatment.


Getting Started

Introduction to the article (perhaps by having everyone read it)

Many organizations and governments in Canada have diversity initiatives and training. However, they have fallen short of achieving the social and economic outcomes that would benefit the Black community and society in general. Currently Black people make up 3.5% of the Canadian population but are represented at less than 2% in senior executive positions, boards of large organizations and law practices.  The pledge outlined in the first article is a strategy to rectify that by 2024.

Subject Areas covered

Any business subject, history, English

New Terms

Systemic racism

Materials Needed

Computer for internet search and collaboration

Study and Discussion Activity

Key things students can learn from this lesson

At the end of this lesson:

  • Students will understand the positive economic and social impact of achieving the goals of this movement.
  • Students will have some insight into how they can advocate for better outcomes for Black and Indigenous people

Action (here’s how we’ll do it)

  • Read the article on the pledge to end systemic racism
  • In their own words, have students describe the BlackNorth Initiative
  • Why is this initiative important? Write down three reasons.
  • Students should discuss this initiative with a family member in order to understand and explain what the initiative is and why it is important.
  • Together, discuss what you can do to make a difference in reducing systemic racism.
  • The article points out that this kind of initiative can drive economic growth. Research and explain how this would happen.
  • Compare notes with a classmate using Google Meet or another online meeting tool.
  • Go to the BlackNorth Initiative website and see what progress they have achieved since this article was published. Jot down what you learn.

Consolidation of Learning

The Black North Initiative has more than 200 organizations that have signed on and it is growing. Students should understand that this widespread initiative will have positive social and economic outcomes, not only for Black people but for society in general.

Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria

Students understand the positive outcomes of better outcomes for Black and Indigenous people.

Confirming Activities

Read the article Black Professionals in Tech Network partners with Canadian companies to fight racism.

Students should describe how this network is advocating for organizations to be purposeful about constructing more equitable organizations.  Explain why this is important.

How does this align with the BlackNorth Initiative?