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Join us for our inaugural Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Community Conference hosted by CFO Services by BizON Capital Corporation and The New Humanity Initiative


Come share and learn from our amazing cast of speakers and thought leaders to discuss anti-Black racism and how to make meaningful change, create inclusive and equitable
opportunities in business, government and community.

Produced and Presented By:

Logo 2 - TNHI.jpeg.jpg

Keynote Session, Panel Discussion and Community Forum

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Community is an online conversation and interactive session about anti-Black racism and how to make meaningful change and create inclusive and equitable opportunities in business, government and community. 


To glean perspectives, best practices and processes that are having an impact on equity, diversity and inclusion to improve experience and wellbeing for black, indigenous and

people of colour. This virtual online conversation will include a keynote, panel discussion and concurrent break-out sessions featuring leaders in business, government and society as well as other related groups.


This needed conversation is about taking collective action on anti-Black racism and learn

hands-on techniques to addressing issues to engender equity, diversity and inclusion in the community. Learn what are some of the challenges and think about the ways that racism and ethnic identities are impacted by individual, systemic and societal barriers.

Community Forums
(7 Concurrent Sessions)


Join us after the discussion for our breakout sessions where we will have community participation and conversations about taking collective action. 


The community forums are built on the seven pillars of The New Humanity Initiative that will shape it’s outcomes-based approach to national change. 


Each community forum will be facilitated by a community leader, please bring your ideas and get ready to create meaningful change. 


You must choose the community forum that you would like to be a part of during registration.

  1. Economic Mobility 
    (Click to Learn More)


  2. Health & Wellbeing 
    (Click to Learn More)

  3. Entrepreneurship & Innovation
    (Click to Learn More)


  4. Education & Community Development
    (Click to Learn More)


  5. Advocacy & Stakeholder Engagement
    (Click to Learn More)


  6. Leadership and Inclusion
    (Click to Learn More)


  7. Humanism & Conscious Civility
    (Click to Learn More)       


About The New Humanity Initiative:


The New Humanity Initiative (TNHI) is a purpose-fueled organization that is a catalyst for fundamental change for racialized groups throughout Canada. Our mission is to strengthen inclusivity for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) who have faced systemic racism, oppression and social injustices through engagement, awareness, advocacy, and intentional actions.


We are emboldened by the call for a ‘new humanity’ that collectively promotes a ‘new

humanized social contract’ for all people. Our aim is to bring a new standard of human

relations embodied in the enduring aspirations of people, transformative change and people centered programmes that amplifies their human rights, civil liberties and political Engagement.


Our work is built on three core ethos - human equity, access and leadership and inclusion - to shape the actions and commitment of partners to strengthen BIPOC access to resource based opportunities, improve the social determinants of health and well-being throughout our society. The New Humanity Initiative's collaborative framework is a seven pillars process that mandates the crucial work, research, policy, advocacy and engagement to bring about fundamental change in the following areas:


  • Economic Mobility

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  • Education & Community Development

  • Advocacy & Stakeholder Engagement

  • Leadership and Inclusion

  • Humanism & Conscious Civility


The New Humanity Initiative's work is centered on respect, action, empathy, mindfulness and engagement in developing the next generation of leaders in 'Our Home and Native Land' across all sectors through our guiding principles:


  1. We believe that equity, access and fundamental human rights are cornerstones of a democratic society.

  2. We build an engaged community that values respect, integrity and an ethic of service in serving our communities to engender well-being, self-actualization and achievement.

  3. We build on the energies of leaders who are passionate about community engagement and foster open dialogue, collaboration, and truth.

  4. We build sustainable futures for people through civic engagement, ownership and responsibility to engender equitable community actions.

  5. We engender shared sense of duty through a commitment to collaborate to deconstruct systemic barriers to inclusion by collective empowerment of individuals through professional practice, growth and development.



Hugh A.Simmonds, PhD

Co-Founder & Co-Chair

The New Humanity Initiative

Hugh Anthony is a passionate and dedicated advocate and scholar. He was the first non-North American international President of Kiwanis International Sponsored Program-Circle K International.  He was born in Kingston, Jamaica and emigrated to Canada and pursued a PhD at the University of Waterloo in Recreation and Leisure Studies and was one of two BIPOC to graduate from this program. 


Hugh Anthony is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair for The New Humanity 

Initiative, a national non-profit committed to promoting fundamental 

change that engenders equity, access and wellbeing for marginalized communities in Canada. 


Hugh Anthony’s mastery as a public speaker and a compelling storyteller,  complemented by his award-winning presentation skills helps organizations to amplify their customer experience engagement, strategic relationship building and create inclusive processes. He curates engagement that builds trust, inspires action and creates meaningful impact that enhances goal outcomes. He volunteers by sharing his time, effort and energy to make a difference and help our humanity.



Bruce Singer, CPA, CA

CEO and Co-Founder

CFO Services by

BizON CapitalCorporation

Bruce is an entrepreneur, founder and business builder. He brings passion, determination, drive and out-of-the box thinking to initiatives he takes on.  Bruce is a process oriented thinker that brings an outcomes-based approach.


He has developed a strong ability to build collaborative relationships with people.   Bruce is a Certified Professional Accountant and his business background allows him to bring both financial and business acumen to his profession, clients, stakeholders and his team.  He received a nomination for the Canadian Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.  


Bruce is currently CEO and Co-Founder of BizON Capital Corporation which is in the business of merging and acquiring small mid-sized firms.  He is Managing Partner of its CFO Services division which provides Part-Time, Interim and Contract Chief Financial Officers.   He is also Host of The 9AM Spot Virtual Event Series that brings guests,  business and thought leaders, to share their experiences and insights to the community.


Passionate Involvement in various film and television projects in Toronto, and Co-Produced an Independent Feature Film “The Christmas Switch”. which aired on Canadian Broadcasting (CBC).



Sharon Barnes-Simmonds, CPA, CGA, MBA, FCCA 

Sharon Barness Simmonds, CPA, CGA, FCCA, MBA is passionate, driven, 

and caring. She is a qualified accounting professional with a penchant for giving back, Sharon has worked in the for-profit and non-profit sectors for more than 15 years. Her senior-level experience has taken her to organizations such as the Region of Peel and the Toronto International Film Festival. 


She’s also volunteered on two Boards in the non-profit sector.


In her role as director of fiance and administration, Sharon oversees the finance team as well as facilities and administration. Sharon earned her accounting designation from ACCA in the U.K., then later her master of business administration from the University of Wales. She followed that up by earning her chartered professional accountants’ designation from CPA Canada.


Sharon loves learning more about  the world through documentaries, biopics and travelling with her husband and daughter.



Stacey Ann Berry, BA (Hons), MPPAL 

President and Founder

Bstellar Group Inc.

Stacey is the founder and president of Bstellar™ Group Inc., which provides professional development workshops, as well as, consulting services in government relations, community engagement and strategic planning.  She taught professional development seminars at Seneca College, delivered various workshops at several academic institutions and non-profits in Canada. She interned as a federal policy assistant for Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Washington, D.C.   Stacey’s extensive professional experience in private, public and non-profit sectors provided the essential building blocks to thrive as an entrepreneur.  


Stacey is a service-driven leader who is passionate about community development and advocacy. Some of her community involvement includes volunteering for the 29th Annual Turkish Conference on U.S. Relations for the American Turkish Council, The Olive Branch of Hope, Inspire North, the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  She also volunteered as a Floor Director for Rogers TV and an Executive Reporter for Soulful Image Magazine in Toronto.


As a former director for the Toronto Board of Health, Stacey chaired the Public Health Champion Awards Selection Committee, served on the Performance Appraisal of the Medical Officer of Health Committee and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) Board of Directors. Stacey is the recipient of the “Outstanding Contribution to Student Experience” Award from York University and was recognized as one of the “100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women.”  She has a master’s degree in Public Policy Administration and Law, as well as, an Honors BA in History and Law and Society from York University. |


Keynote Speaker

The Most Honourable

Juliet Holness MP

Juliet Holness grew up in a close-knit family where hard work and education were guiding principles. It is of no surprise therefore, that she was an outstanding student both at the St. Catherine High School and Wolmer’s Trust High School for Girls.


Her outstanding scholarship and affinity for hard work earned her a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Economics as well as a Master of Science in Accounting from the University of the West Indies – Mona.


She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and was a senior manager at Pricewater-house Coopers.


She has been married for twenty years to The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica. They have two sons – Adam and Matthew, whose prosperous future continues to be a catalyst for the couple’s persistent investment in the future of Jamaica.


In addition to a distinguished career as a chartered accountant, Mrs. Holness has carved a niche for herself as a respected real-estate developer and is currently the Member of Parliament for the unique and diverse constituency of St. Andrew East Rural.


Among the issues which constantly occupy her mind, in addition to the welfare of her family, are matters concerning community development, gender equality and disenfranchised youth.



Michael Thompson

Deputy Mayor

City of Toronto

Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson is Chair of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. Now in his fifth term as Councillor, Michael has earned a reputation as one of Toronto’s hardest working and most effective political leaders. In 2006, as Chair of the Scarborough Community Council, he led the campaign to create the first ever TTC transit strategy for Scarborough, a strategy designed to significantly expand and enhance public transit services for all Scarborough residents.

Throughout his years on Council, Michael’s unrelenting drive for public safety in the face of increased gun violence ultimately led to the development of a city-wide Community Safety Plan, a GTA-wide police task force on guns and gangs, an increase in the numbers of police officers in the street, and a new young offender program designed to divert young people into jobs instead of jail.

Recently, Michael was a key member of a Toronto project team that successfully lobbied executives of Collision, one of the world’s leading high technology conferences, to choose Toronto as the conference’s home for 2019 – 2021, bringing 25,000 technology executives and investors to the City and injecting tens of millions of dollars into Toronto’s economy.

Michael received his public school education in Scarborough, and his BA from Concordia University in Montreal. Prior to entering politics, he earned his business credentials as an entrepreneur in the business and financial services sector. In 2017, he successfully completed the ICD Directors Education Program offered by the Rotman School of Management and Institute of Corporate Directors.

He is the recipient of the African Achievement Award for Excellence in Politics, the York University International Award, the Jain Society of Toronto Community Award, the Bob Marley Award and the Bob Marley Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to work with a number of charitable organizations including participation in the LIUNA Local 506 scholarship fund.


Charmaine Williams


City of Brampton

Charmaine Williams became the first black woman elected to Brampton City Council in 2018. Her beliefs, values and courage to advocate for people are shaped by her professional and personal experiences.


Prior to entering politics, she had 19-year career as a certified Multi-Systemic Therapist, behavioural consultant and counsellor. Charmaine has been a voice on behalf of families and children of all ages coping with domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse, neglect, trauma and other personal challenges. She has worked in a number of therapeutic programs and organizations like Associated Youth Services of Peel, Youth Substance Abuse Program, Peel Children’s Center and the Reach Out Center for Kids in Peel and the Halton Region.


Charmaine believes that public service is the art of the possible, and her recent personal experience overcoming a debilitating health issue demonstrated her determination to pursue what is possible. She pushed through the obstacles to be able to enter public service in 2018, inspired and energized to work for her community.


Charmaine and her husband Steve, live in Brampton with their five beautiful children.


Nadine Spencer  


Black Business & Professional Association

Nadine Spencer is the CEO of BrandEQ Group Inc., a global marketing and communications agency specializing in marketing, communications and public relations.


Spencer has earned a reputation as an experienced professional who accelerates strategic growth and brand visibility for clients. Through her coined “People Matter” concept, she has expanded market growth and increased revenues for various multinational enterprises by amplifying their messages to a wider audience.


Nadine has directed a variety of multi-tiered corporate campaigns throughout her career. Clients include Goldman Sacs, Bank of America, Coachella, Burberry, Mercedes Benz, Merchandise Mart, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, The World Bank, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Jamaica National Building Society and Holt Renfrew. Celebrity collaborations include Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Colin Cowie, Art Smith (former chef to Oprah Winfrey), Chef Selwyn Richards, and Padma Lakshmi.


Meryl Afrika


Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals (CAUFP)

Meryl is the current President of CAUFP, a non-profit organization that provides a link between corporations and the Black community, through innovative programming that increases Black talent pipelines, provides educational opportunities, and fosters economic growth.


Meryl’s career within Canada’s Financial Services industry started when she emigrated from South Africa and began working at Mogo Finance Technology Inc., an emerging Fintech company located in Western Canada. After 3 years within the start-up space, Meryl embarked on a sales career in Commercial Banking at CIBC where she managed the sales portfolio for Northern Alberta and the North West Territories.


Meryl transitioned from Sales to Product Management, where she leveraged her client experience to manage payment and liquidity products for clients within the Small Business, Mid-Market and Large Corporate segments. Additionally, Meryl managed corporate partner relationships with multi-national organizations, such as US Bank and Global Payments while launching CIBC’s first suite of credit cards for Commercial Banking clients.


After 3 years within Product Management, Meryl transitioned back to a sales role at Scotiabank as a Senior Manager, Payments & Cash Management. Meryl currently works as a Payments Expert, Marketing & Innovation at Peoples Group, where she is responsible for representing the organization’s interests in the industry-wide Payments Modernization program lead by Payments Canada. Meryl holds a Bachelor of Information Technology with a specialization in Business Systems from Monash University.


Kristine Remedios 

Chief Inclusion and Social Impact Officer 

KPMG Canada 

Kristine Remedios is KPMG’s Chief Inclusion & Social Impact Officer. In her role, she leads KPMG’s vision and strategy to leverage the firm’s diversity for broader economic and social inclusion in the Canadian marketplace and our communities. Kristine is the 

co-chair with the CEO of the Executive Inclusion and Diversity Council, and is among the top executives in the KPMG network of firms leading our social impact strategy with a focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the environment.


With over 20 years’ experience in human resources, inclusion and diversity, and social impact, Kristine has led innovative strategies and partnerships focused on women, LGBTQ+, inclusive leadership, unconscious bias and mental health, to name a few. 

As a community leader, Kristine has been a member of the Refugee Roundtable with Senator Ratna Omidvar, and sits on the Diversity Council and Top 100 Regional and Demographic Diversity Committees of the Women’s Executive Network. More recently, she is a committee member of the Chief Inclusion Officer Forum for Ascend Canada, and the Inclusion Advisory Committee of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.


Kristine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, and has several certifications including Leading a Healthy Workplace through Queens University, Board Governance from Get on Board, and Inclusive Leadership through Catalyst. Kristine’s lived experience as a young refugee to Canada, a woman of colour, a wife and mother of two children under 10 are deep motivators for her drive. Her mission is to create shared economic prosperity in a sustainable and equitable world for future generations.


Lori Anne Thomas

President of the Canadian Association 

of Black Lawyers (CABL) 

Since 2015, Lori has been a sole practitioner in her Toronto firm Thomas Defence, practicing criminal and Law Society regulatory defense. 

She is a Criminal Law Program Instructor for the Ryerson University Law Practice Program.


Lori has appeared at all levels of court in Canada. Some of her cases 

include advocating:

  • Against systematic jury vetting

  • For the privacy rights of charged persons while in police custody

  • The need for basic law information to be proved to self-represented accused persons

  • The importance of bail for marginalized and improvised individuals

  • The considerations of pre-trial custody when sentencing defendants


Lori attended Osgoode Hall Law School, where she was on the Black Law Student’s Committee each year. She graduated in 2008 and was awarded the Dean’s Gold Key for outstanding contribution to the life of the Law School through the academic program of the school and activities that were integral to the community.

Dr. Wendy Cukier, MA, MBA, PhD

Academic Director

Diversity Institute 

Dr. Wendy Cukier is one of Canada’s leading experts in disruptive technologies, innovation processes and diversity. She has written more than 200 papers on technology, innovation and management and is coauthor of the bestseller “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic Park.” She is the Founder of Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, which she founded in 1999 and has led projects aimed at promoting the participation and advancement of underrepresented groups. Dr. Cukier has assisted organizations in becoming more inclusive through innovative programs such as DiversityLeads funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, which tracks the progress, impediments and evidenced-based strategies for promoting diversity in organizations.


During her five-year term as Ryerson University’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation, she transformed her unit to support the growth of research and to promote innovation and commercialization. Under her leadership, research and partnerships expanded, driving an increase in external funding by more than 60% over 5 years.


Kris Noakes

Community Advocate

Kris Noakes is a citizen of the Anishinabek Nation, a member of Nipissing First Nation. She is a community advocate for Indigenous communities at the Municipal, Provincial, Federal levels. She has previously served both as the Executive Director and President of The Indigenous Network, for over a decade building Indigenous services for the Peel and Halton Regions.


Kris has also volunteered supporting local initiatives through Public Appointments on the City of Mississauga and City of Brampton’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Museams of Mississauga Advisory Committee. Kris has also served as a member of the Region of Peel’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy Community Advisory Board (CAB), the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Advisory Circle for the Peel District School Board (PDSB), the Toronto Area Education Leads for the Aboriginal Education Office of Ministry of Education and a Director for Art Gallery of Mississauga.


She is currently focusing on access to justice initiatives locally and at the federal level as a member of the Indigenous Committee the Brampton Court House, a member of Peel Dufferin Legal Aid’s Community Advisory Committee and the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for the GTA, she is also a member of Hamiltons’s chapter of 100 Women Who Care. 

Tonya Williams 

Executive Director

Reelworld Film Festival

Tonya Williams - Founder and Executive Director Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute


The two time Emmy nominated and two time NAACP Image winner, actress and producer Tonya Williams is the Founder and Executive Director of Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute.  Reelworld, now in its 20th year, is the preeminent organization creating access, opportunity and professional development for Canadian Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latinx screen based professionals.  Recently Reelworld launched the most comprehensive national database for racially diverse creatives called Access Reelworld.  From 1990-2009 Tonya was known for her starring role as Dr. Olivia Barber-Hasting on the long time daytime drama The Young and the Restless.  

Voices of



Changing the Narrative: 

Canadian Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in Canada’s Film Sector


Lamont Wiltshire & Odeen Eccleston

The Wiltshire Group

In 2009, Lamont Wiltshire was an avid investor as well as the CEO & Co-owner of a thriving Luxury Car Dealership (Supreme Auto Group Inc); a successful family owned and operated establishment that he helped to build and develop from the ground up. 


In 2009, Odeen Eccleston was a recent University of Toronto graduate who had put her professional acting & modelling years behind her to become a published author, investor & a recognizable name in Toronto Real Estate. 


The two young powerhouses would meet that very year & with a mutual fervour for excellence, entrepreneurialism, real estate, investing and insurmountable ambition, they would soon join forces to start their own business together: Wiltshire Homes Canada Inc. What began as a few small property rehabilitations soon grew into a full-fledged custom home building business. Today, Wiltshire Homes Canada has been remodeling & building distinctive residences in Toronto and the GTA for over 5 years. Designing grand and elegant residences crafted to exquisite standards is the Wiltshire Homes signature. Mr. Wiltshire & Ms.Eccleston’s work stand apart as timeless and classic as they integrate old world craftsmanship with contemporary & transitional design resulting in world class homes. If you can Dream It, They can Build It… And at ages 31 & 32, they are just getting started.


Voices of




& Innovation


Lamont & Odeen bring their passion for perfection and superb execution in each
and every endeavour
& home that they build
with attention to detail
and pride in customization being paramount.

Hal Johnson

Marketing, Sales, Producer, Director, TV Host, Professional Speaker at BodyBreak and Amazing Race Canada Competitor

For the past 28 years, under the umbrella of BodyBreak, my partner Joanne McLeod and I have been communicating to Canadians the important message that making small lifestyle changes can benefit an individual and their families for a lifetime. Whether it be with our TV programs, half hour TV series, syndicated radio show, presentations,media interviews or the products we endorse, the risk factors that can be controlled such as eating well, being active and feeling good are presented and reinforced. We heighten the awareness of the benefits of a healthier, active lifestyle and show Canadians how practical and easy it is to do. But most of all, it’s “Fun”.  


Voices of



Staying Positive
with Body Breaks
Hal Johnson


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