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    Dean Chambers and Craig Brown are Black Torontonians who founded a financial literacy firm called Checks Over Strikes. Both founders grew up in a community that didn't have resources in part because of financial illiteracy. “We've started a trend to teach financial knowledge to our kids so that our grandkids can enjoy the fruits of our labour,” says Dean Chambers. We spoke with them to learn about their story and to find out why and how they wanted to support their community through financial management and entrepreneurship.

    “I want my children and grandchildren to be proud of themselves, to be in love with what they are and to see themselves everywhere. I don't want them struggling with what I got to struggle with,” says Lisa Julien, a licensed esthetician and a skincare specialist in Ontario.

    Although Canada claims to have the best health care system in the world, racialized groups living with mental health issues know that there are some gaps in the system.

    Attending a full day of lectures, working a minimum wage job that has you on your feet for several hours, then having to complete assignments or study all in a single day can be very draining.

    Unique models in all shades, shapes and ages have found their home at Soli Production Management Inc., a modelling agency in Halifax created by Solitha Shortte.

    “After growing up in Grenada in extreme poverty as a child, without food or clothes and shoes, knowing that I had the opportunity to make a better life kept me going, and every time I face a challenge or think about giving up, I think about those days,” Charlyn Asher shares.

    When COVID19 hit, many of us developed our own pandemic distractions to stay sane, whether it be baking, crafting or renovating our spaces. But for one Toronto woman, an act of pandemic self-care turned into a booming business. “Last year was particularly hard for most people,” says Sagal Ali. “I made candles to take my mind off things and share something with everyone.” 

    “There's so much room for Black ownership in the Cannabis industry and it's only right that we take advantage of an industry that we helped build,” says Josh Creighton, one of the co-owners of Fumes Rolling Papers & Accessories.

    “I want my customers to feel empowered and loved. I want them to feel the strength and beauty they have within them,” says Renee Alexzandria.

    In the next 10 years, Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) CEO and founder, Lekan Olawoye, believes their donations towards Black businesses and tech professionals will help give a much needed boost to Blacks in tech. “That's really why we are paying it forward, that's why we're donating twenty thousand dollars,” said Olawoye. “Ten thousand Canadian and ten thousand US dollars to ensure that ten years from now, there's more [Black tech professionals].” 

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