This past Wednesday, President Barack Obama spoke to a sold-out crowd in Halifax. Within that crowd was a specially selected group of 100 youth, from over 290 who applied to the Future Leaders Initiative.

As part of the initiative, applicants answered a section of questions on how they demonstrated leadership in the community, that included elaborating on a social justice issue that matters to them and what they would ask President Obama if they had the opportunity. This initiative was sponsored by law firm Stewart McKelvey, Business is Jammin’ as part of the Black Business Initiative, and the Delmore ‘Buddy’ Daye Learning Institute here in Halifax.

As part of the historic event, Colour hosted The Future 100 at a pre-event networking reception, at Colour’s Halifax office to help make this event a lifetime memory for many that attended.

“As a board member of the BIJ, I’ve had the privilege to read all of the applications and I must say it was so rewarding and inspiring to learn more about the young black leaders we have emerging right here in Nova Scotia,” said Shaq Smith, one of the members of the panel that selected attendees, and a Senior Strategist at Colour. “As a committee, we spent two days reading through hundreds of applications, and after reading about all of the remarkable things going on across the province, I’ve never been more confident in the future of our Black communities than I am right now.”

The event was truly inspiring and an unmistakably motivating opportunity. It brought together some of the province’s future leaders, to connect on shared visions for the future, and for many, to see a role model who has been inspiring not just those in attendance, but people around the world for over a decade. The event demonstrated the compelling impact these initiatives have had on the province’s youth.  

“It meant a lot to me as a kid, and now I’m getting to live out a childhood dream in a sense,” said Tyler Nadolny, one of the selected attendees.“It’s just kind of a glimmer of optimism going into the future, getting to hear his story a little bit more, see how far and how his journey brought him to become the President of the United States, and hopefully find a few little things to implement into my life to hopefully help me better achieve my goals in the future, so that’s why I’m excited personally.”

The DBDLI is an Africentric Institute, providing support for people of African descent reach to their full potential through education, and creating opportunities to help them thrive. With education being so key to their purpose and vision, they help inform society and government at large on how best to achieve these goals.

BIJ is a charitable initiative in Nova Scotia, focusing on developing education and programming that helps Black and racially visible minority youth through mentorship, education and entrepreneurship, enriching their lives and the business community at large.

 “Colour generously opened their space to host The Future 100 and to provide a real VIP experience,” said Ashley Hill, Youth Program Coordinator at BIJ. “As storytellers themselves, Colour immediately took action to provide youth from across Nova Scotia the opportunity to share their own stories and make lasting connections. Youth were recognized for their excellence and leadership; we acknowledge and thank Colour for such tremendous support. There couldn’t have been a space more perfect, or an organization more dedicated to partnering with BIJ to share our youth’s stories!”

Our thanks go out to Business is Jammin’, the Delmore ‘Buddy’ Day Learning Institute and #TheFuture100 for an unforgettable evening.