When Bilal Habib examined his group at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, he noticed some disparities.
The killing of George Floyd by a policeman in Minneapolis last year prompted him to take a closer look at his schedule and what he found was not promising.
There weren’t many black students in the program, He said.
Currently, less than 2.5% of students in the Morning and Evening MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management are black. This is a three-year, part-time program that offers lessons early and late in the day so students can work during the day. The program is an alternative to the full-time MBA program which usually lasts for two years.
With a group of Rotman students, Bilal Habib decided to try to make a difference. He managed to convince the university to prepare a scholarship for black students.
The overall goal is to remove financial barriers for students from the black community, so that obtaining an MBA is a viable option for them.
Denounce the lack of representation
Bilal Habib hopes the money will help break the cycle of black students who are pushed out of higher education by systemic barriers, creating a brighter future for future generations.
Nonsu Moloko is also part of the group leading this initiative. Born in Nigeria, he is one of a handful of black students in his class.
There is a certain level of disappointment when you start out and don’t see people who look like you in class. It’s a bit frustrating and it’s really one of the reasons we started this, he told the CBC Metro Morning Show.
The scholarship aims to reduce barriers and most importantly the cost of higher education.
Pursuing an MBA program is definitely a huge financial commitment. And it definitely deters people from wanting to go ahead with this., Croyt Nunsu Moloko.
The student also denounced the lack of representation on corporate boards and the lack of blacks in management positions. According to him, these facts are rooted in the classroom.
When you think about the lack of black students and the lack of representation at this level of education, you begin to see the impact of this going forward., he adds.
The more you learn, the more your career increases, right?
This initiative attracts the singer’s attention
The initiative has received some attention in recent weeks. Montel Jordan, American R&B singer, best known for his 1995 single This is how we do itEfforts are welcomed.
In one of the videos, the singer praised the students who lobbied for the scholarship, even going so far as to sing part of his hit song.
I am proud of you. We need more black leaders. Such initiatives are very refreshing. I am grateful to you. I am grateful to you. I am very proud of the program because This is how we do itAnd Jordan said in a video posted by Habib on Twitter.
Habib admits that the post lifted the group’s morale.
I called Montel and told him what we were doing, and he was very happy, he explains.
According to the professor,
future leaders Must see in class
University of Toronto Associate Professor and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at Rotman Noaman Ashraf believes underrepresentation
say something to the students.
If we don’t see future leaders on our side, we’re saying that leadership only comes in a certain form… and we need to fix it. We have to ask about this and we have to change this, He says.
Although the initiative is student-led, donations will be collected directly by the university.
All proceeds will be used to provide financial support to black students applying to the Morning and Evening MBA program.
Along with the rest of the student body, Nonso Molokwu hopes that the scholarship will help as many people as possible and lead to more diversity in his program.
What does success look like now? I couldn’t really tell you. But I think what we’re looking for is just representation. We want to see it when we walk the University of Toronto campusConcludes.
With information from CBC News
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