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Cassels Signs BlackNorth Pledge, Launches Black-Owned Small Business Grant

07/17/2020

Cassels is pleased to be participating in the BlackNorth Initiative’s Law Firm Pledge. This initiative, led by The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism, asks leaders from Canada’s law firms to commit to seven specific actions and targets designed to end anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for those in underrepresented Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities. Firms that sign the Law Firm Pledge commit to tracking their progress, sharing their goals internally and externally, and sharing regular updates with each other.

“We are committed to addressing anti-Black systemic racism and welcomed the opportunity to support the BlackNorth Initiative and join other Canadian law firms to drive meaningful and lasting change in our organizations,” says Mark Bennett, Managing Partner.

For more on the BlackNorth Pledge, please click here.

In addition, the firm is proud to announce today that it has launched the Cassels Black-Owned Small Business Grant. Through this program, Cassels will offer financial support to the Black business community in the form of annual grants of up to $75,000 to one or more Black-owned or operated small businesses in each of the three cities in which Cassels has offices (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary) over the next three years. This grant amount will be matched with pro bono legal services to help these businesses succeed.

Cassels understands the funding challenges that small businesses face in Canada and is aware of the unique challenges faced by Black business owners. Our hope is that this initiative will provide recipients with the financial support and expert advice needed to sustain their business and create long term economic opportunity.

This program has been funded from individual support from across the firm, reflecting a broad commitment by our people to do more to address the impact of systemic racism.

Natasha Jimeno, Co-Chair of the Cassels Inclusion and Diversity Committee, notes: “When small businesses thrive, so do their communities. Cassels is thrilled to play a small part in supporting Canada’s future Black leaders’ passions and voices and look forward to working with them to bring their visions to life.”

More details on this grant – along with information on the application process – will be released in the next two weeks.

For questions regarding the Cassels Black-Owned Small Business Grant, please contact Natasha Jimeno at njimeno@cassels.com or David Budd at dbudd@cassels.com.

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