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Generous Futures: Black Voices Leading

February 24, 2021
1:00 PM EST - 2:00 PM EST
Generous Futures: Black Voices Leading

This panel will explore the critical role of Black leadership in the future of charitable giving. Panelists will draw on their unique perspectives and experiences to speak about the importance of investing in Black-led businesses, supporting Black voices in boardrooms, and giving to Black-focused initiatives to affect meaningful change.

Note: Individuals with a CFRE designation can earn 1 CFRE continuing education point for attending this webinar.



Donna E. Young, Dean, Faculty of Law, Ryerson University

Donna E. Young, Dean, Faculty of Law, Toronto Metropolitan University


Aurora James, Creative Director, Brother Vellies

Aurora James, Creative Director and Founder, Brother Vellies and Founder, The 15 Percent Pledge

Isaac Olowolafe Jr., Founder and General Partner, Dream Makers Venture

Isaac Olowolafe Jr., Founder and General Partner, Dream Maker Ventures

Michael “Pinball” Clemons

Michael “Pinball” Clemons, GM, Toronto Argonauts FC / Co-Founder, The Pinball Clemons Foundation

Wes Hall, Executive Chairman and Founder, Kingsdale Advisors

Wes Hall, Executive Chairman and Founder, Kingsdale Advisors Founder and Chairman of BlackNorth Initiative


Donna E. Young is the inaugural dean of the Faculty of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University. Prior to joining Toronto Metropolitan University, she was the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at the Albany Law School and a joint faculty member at the University at Albany's Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. Dean Young's research focuses on law and inequality, race and gender discrimination, and academic freedom and university governance. She has taught courses in Criminal Law, Employment Law, Federal Civil Procedure, Gender and Work, and Race, Rape Culture, and Law. 

Toronto-native and New York City-transplant, Aurora James is the Creative Director and Founder of luxury accessories brand Brother Vellies. Founded in 2013 with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs, Brother Vellies is now handmade across the globe. Prior to founding Brother Vellies, James amassed an impressive resume of industry experience. Her background in fashion, journalism, art, music, photography, and horticulture joins a forever-passion for artisanship, design, and humanitarianism to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces that you will have in your wardrobe forever. In June 2020, James launched the 15 Percent Pledge, a non-profit urging major retailers and corporations to allocate 15% of their purchasing power to Black owned brands in the fight for economic equality. 

Isaac Olowolafe Jr. is an award-winning real estate entrepreneur, angel investor and philanthropist. Isaac’s corporation, Dream Maker Inc., successfully operates multiple divisions including a brokerage, real estate development, wealth management, property management, education, private equity and insurance.  The Development division celebrated the completion of the first major mixed-use development (condos, townhomes, retail) called Dream Residences at Yorkdale, located directly across from Yorkdale Mall, and has more developments underway across the GTA. Through his love of sports, Dream Maker Developments became the jersey sponsor of the Men and Women National Basketball Team (2017-2020). 

Isaac received a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Toronto. He has received numerous awards and recognition, including a Harry Jerome Business Award, an Enterprise Business Award by Planet Africa, an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, a Business Leadership Award by Leadership and Governance Canada Inc. and a Public Service Award from the Transformation Institute for Leadership & Innovation and Toronto Board of Trade Award.

In addition to his membership in the Toronto Metropolitan University Innovation Circle, Isaac made a generous donation which was named the Isaac Olowolafe Jr. Digital Media Experience Lab in Toronto Metropolitan University’s iconic Student Learning Centre and launch of Black Innovation Fellowship at Toronto Metropolitan University DMZ.

One of pro football's most electrifying players ever.

Michael "Pinball" Clemons is Head Coach, and unquestionably the most recognizable and popular member, of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club.  "Pinball" has received numerous awards including the CFL Man-of-the-Year award, the John Candy Memorial Trophy, an Honourary Doctor of Laws (LL.D) degree from York University, Doctor of Humane Letters from the College of William and Mary, the prestigious Order of Ontario in recognition of his dedication and work with charities throughout Ontario and across Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is also a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the CFL Hall of Fame 

He was raised in Dunedin, Florida by a single Mom and attended the College of William & Mary where he graduated with a degree in economics.  Michael's true claim to fame however is being Diane's husband and Rachel, Raven and Rylie’s Dad.

Clemons joined the National Football League in 1987, and CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in 1989. He was nicknamed “Pinball” because of his running style — his diminutive size and extraordinary balance allowed him to “bounce” between defensive players, drawing comparisons to a pinball machine.

Clemons won the Grey Cup in 1991, 1996, and 1997 with the Argonauts, and was honoured with the CFL’s “most outstanding player” award in 1990, after setting the single season record for all-purpose yards. He played his last game as an Argonaut in 2000, before becoming head coach of the team in the same year. He led the football club to six consecutive East Division Finals, including the 2004 championship, concluding his coaching tenure with 68 wins — the second highest in the team history.

In 2007, Clemons stepped down as head coach to become the chief executive officer, and in 2009, he was appointed as the vice-chair of the team. In 2019, Clemons was named the 20th general manager of the Toronto Argonauts.

Clemons is also the founder of the Pinball Clemons Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers youth through education. Since its founding in 2007, it’s been responsible for the construction of a hospital in Uganda, over 200 schools in developing countries, two orphanages in Haiti, and locally awarded more than 200 scholarships.

Wes Hall is an established innovator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. As Executive Chairman &  Founder of Kingsdale Advisors, he has been named one of Canada’s most powerful business people. He  is also the owner of QM Environmental, a leading environmental and industrial services provider; and  Titan Supply, a top manufacturer and distributor of rigging and wear products serving industries in the  oil, construction and transportation sector; and Harbor Club hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, one of St.  Lucia’s premier resorts. In 2009, Wes was recognized with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the  Year award for Ontario, Canada and, in 2011, received the designation ICD.D from the Institute of  Corporate Directors’ (ICD) in partnership with the Rotman School of Management of the University of  Toronto. In 2020, Wes was appointed to the Ontario government’s Capital Markets Modernization  Taskforce, a five-person advisory group of experts tasked to review and modernize the province’s  capital markets regulations.

Wes is also known for generosity, leveraging his business success to benefit others with a number of  impactful charitable initiatives. He is Founder and Chairman of The Canadian Council of Business  Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism and the BlackNorth Initiative, committed to the removal of  anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. 

He is also a director of SickKids Foundation and a board member of Pathways to Education and Toronto  International Film Festival (TIFF). Wes has also changed the lives of thousands of children in the  Caribbean, donating both his money and time. In 2015, Wes was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s  Award and in 2017 received an honorary doctorate, both from the University of the West Indies. In  2020, Wes was named as one of Toronto Life’s 50 most influential and impactful Torontonians. 

Generous Futures: Power and Politics in Charitable Giving

Through a series of panel discussions we will explore the struggles, politics and possibilities within the charitable sector.

Promotional Partners: Association of Fundraising Professionals; Canadian Association of Gift Planners; Canada Helps; Imagine Canada

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