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Black History Month: Christelle François


 

Black History Month is a time to recognize Black contributions and people we admire. For Boann, we need look no further than our own team for Black leadership we look up to. We want to share with you some thoughts from the minds who influence us, in their own words.


 


Christelle François is the CEO of Equity Economic Development Group and Chair of Boann's Board of Directors.


In honour of Black History Month, Christelle shared her reflections with us on advancing equity for Black communities in Canada through impact investing and beyond.


The views presented here are her own.




How has your experience as a Black woman influenced your approach to impact investing?


My journey as a Black woman has profoundly influenced my approach to impact investing. My experiences have instilled in me a deep understanding of the intersectionality of social issues and the systemic barriers that perpetuate inequalities. Being a Black woman in the finance sector has given me a unique vantage point that has heightened my sensitivity to the diverse needs of communities often overlooked by traditional investment models. It compels me to seek opportunities to empower marginalized groups and foster economic mobility.



My experiences have honed my ability to navigate complex and often challenging landscapes. This resilience and adaptability are invaluable assets in the dynamic world of impact investing, enabling us to navigate uncertainties and seize opportunities for positive change.


How would you like to see Boann support Black leadership and success through its work?


I envision Boann supporting Black leadership throughout the organization and via our investment strategy, guiding us to prioritize initiatives that generate financial returns and address root causes of social inequities. Boann has a diverse team, and I am very proud of our intention to be an inclusive organization.


What would you recommend everyone learn something about to better understand the Black experience in Canada? (This can be a person, place, event, book recommendation, etc.)

I believe everyone must learn about the rich and diverse history of Africville in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Africville was a vibrant Black community that flourished for over a century, despite facing systemic racism and neglect. Its eventual destruction in the 1960s due to urban redevelopment serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggles for racial justice and equity in Canada. By learning about Africville, I hope people can gain insight into the resilience, creativity, and community spirit of Black Canadians, as well as the lasting impacts of colonialism and racism. This understanding is essential for fostering empathy, solidarity, and meaningful action towards building a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

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