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The Inspire Podcast

S3 E12: How BlackNorth Is Tackling Systemic Racism -- And How You Can Help - with Dahabo Ahmed Omer


year ago Wes Hall engaged Corporate Canada in a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism. Using a business-first mindset, the organization has achieved much in its first year, and yet much is left to be done. In this interview Bart talks with Dahabo Ahmed Omer, BlackNorth's inaugural executive director, about the journey that led her to joining the organization, what she's learned and her advice for those who want to act as allies. In a far-ranging interview Dahabo offers both realism about the depths of systemic racism and the need to undo it, and optimism about what is possible. She ends the interview by sharing some practical advice for anyone wondering, "what can I do to help?". A must-listen for anyone passionate about leadership. 00:01 Teaser 00:49 Introducing the guest 01:35 What is Black North 03:42 Mandate of Black North 05:18 Not just a problem in the US 06:50 Dahabo's story 07:21 Civil war in Somalia 10:04 Dedicate life to serving community 10:25 What do you do if you have privilege? 13:24 The hiring process at Black North 17:12 The experience of black Canadians applying for jobs 18:04 Untapped talent 20:12 First year at Black North 20:44 Establishing the mission and mandate 21:52 In it for the long haul 22:08 Collaborative Approach vs Blame & Shame 23:20 Creating sense of family and duty 24:20 Other 1st year achievements 25:11 Incremental change 25:43 Partnerships 26:47 Kids help phone 26:56 Mental health stigma in Black community 27:54 Access to opportunity -- Ryerson 29:57 Biggest 1st year frustration 31:05 Change takes time... 33:10 Getting it right 33:29 Advice for people who want to do something 34:19 Am I part of the problem? 39:57 Guilt and Shame for the privileged 42:16 Uncomfortable conversations are necessary 43:26 2nd thing people can do... 43:34 What are you going to do about it? 44:37 Takeaways 47:29 Thank you 48:31 Outro