Canadians and people all over the world are coming together to support the Black Lives Matter movement and stand in solidarity against racism and injustice.
Blanche Macdonald Centre, Canada’s acclaimed college for fashion and beauty, is showing its support with the launch of a $1 million Scholarship Program for Black Canadians — with $200,000 to be awarded each year over the next five years.
“At Blanche Macdonald Centre we have all been incredibly moved and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. But more than just voicing our support, we wanted to take positive, concrete action to make our programs more inclusive and accessible,” says Mohamed Ibrahim, head of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Blanche Macdonald Centre and CurliQue Beauty Boutique.
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The new scholarship covers full tuition, books, and professional kits for any of Blanche Macdonald Centre’s full-time diploma programs. Black Canadians who are high school graduates or 19 years of age or older can now submit applications for their desired programs.
“Fighting systemic racism means playing our part in providing more opportunities for Black Makeup, Hair, Fashion and Esthetics professionals to share their creativity and make their marks in these industries,” says Ibrahim.
Blanche Macdonald Centre has always been a diverse and inclusive community, he explains. “Our school was founded by a Metis woman and has been led by a woman of colour for the past 32 years. But we recognize that we must all do more.”
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Ibrahim says each one of us has a part to play in dismantling systemic racism and fighting injustice wherever and whenever it occurs. At Blanche Macdonald Centre, the school is strengthening its anti-racism and anti-discrimination policies and taking a look at all other levels.
This includes diversifying its faculty by hiring more Black instructors, supplementing its makeup kits with a greater range of darker shades, adding Black-owned beauty brands, and expanding the training for natural textured Black hair in its hair curriculum.
Graduates, students, and staff have recounted their experiences at Blanche Macdonald Centre and have offered suggestions to push the school to do better.
“This is more than just a moment,” says Ibrahim. “It’s a life-long commitment to building a better, more fair and inclusive school and ensuring these principles are reflected in the creative industries.”