Canada’s educational institutions have experienced issues of inequity that put Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) at a disadvantage. Compared to their white peers, BIPOC students are less likely to graduate and are underrepresented in many fields. Fortunately, Humber’s community partners are stepping in to provide support, including scholarships for BIPOC students to help them complete their education and encourage them to pursue the career path of their choice. Two such partners are Rogers and Punjabi Community Health Services.
Rogers is a proud Canadian company, founded by Ted Rogers with the purchase of his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. Since then, Rogers has grown to become a leading technology and media company that strives to provide the very best in wireless, residential and media to Canadians and Canadian business.
The company has recently established the Rogers Diversity in Communications Scholarship to support a student who self-identifies as a Black/African, Indigenous and/or racialized person in their third year of the Bachelor of Public Relations program at Humber.
“One of the key parts of inclusion is ensuring that a range of views and voices make their way around every table. At Rogers, we believe that the diversity of our workforce needs to reflect the diversity of the customers we’re privileged to serve,” says Rogers’ Chief Communications Officer Sevaun Palvetzian. “We’re proud to partner with Humber in the creation of this scholarship supporting diverse talent, and we can’t wait to see the impact that the next generation of communications leaders will have on our national narrative.”
The Humber scholarship builds on Rogers legacy of educational support through the annual Ted Rogers Scholarships, which recognize young leaders across Canada who are giving back to their communities in a meaningful way, all nominated through 17 national partnership organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, Boys & Girls Clubs Canada, YMCA Canada, Right to Play, Indspire and Pflag Canada. Collectively, the 2020 recipients represent 10 provinces and 82 cities or towns, with 75 per cent of national community recipients as members of BIPOC communities. Now in its fourth year, Ted Rogers Scholarships have awarded $6.5 million in scholarships to recognize the incredible achievements of 1,400 young Canadians who have given back to their communities and as they embark on post-secondary studies.
This year Rogers celebrates these scholarships as part of The 60 Project, a year-long initiative to mark Rogers’ 60th anniversary by giving back and building a stronger Canada – from volunteering, monetary donations and fundraising support; to investing in Canada and the networks that keep Canadians connected.
Punjabi Community Health Services
Punjabi Community Health Services is a pioneer community-based non-profit organization. PCHS has been fulfilling the needs of diverse populations for 30 years by providing services in addictions, mental health, geriatric services, health promotion, domestic violence, parenting, settlement and services for women, children and youth. PCHS has several research studies to its credit and is recognized as an innovative organization for community development and its integrated holistic service delivery model. PCHS is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International and Imagine Canada and is a 2SLGBTQ-sensitive organization. Headed by CEO and Humber alumnus Baldev Mutta, Punjabi Community Health Services aims to create more diverse and equitable representation in the social services sector, including supporting a scholarship for equity seeking groups at Humber.
The new Punjabi Community Health Services Scholarship of Excellence will support a student in the Bachelor of Behavioural Sciences or the Addictions and Mental Health programs of study who self-identifies as Black/African, who has overcome adversity and who aims to work on issues related to anti-racism or anti-oppression.
“It is important to fight injustice through words, but better still with actions,” says Mutta. “Every action will result in eliminating injustice and will contribute towards building a better Canada. This donation is a small step towards building a prosperous Canada.”
As Humber continues to examine how it can deliver equitable education support, the college is grateful to these partners for helping to cultivate spaces for BIPOC students to succeed. “It is inspiring to see alumni like Mutta not only making a difference in the community, but also reaching back and supporting students,” says Derek Stockley, senior dean, Faculty of Social & Community Services and principal, Lakeshore campus. “This scholarship is one more way we can help address systemic racism by providing support to a Black or African student who we hope will follow the path of someone like Mutta.”
Students interested in careers in communications or social services will have more opportunity to achieve their goals, thanks to Rogers and Punjabi Community Health Services. Not only will they have more means to enter these industries and excel, but the local workforce will have greater exposure to a diverse community of perspectives as well.