Social Impact Lab: Engaging Calgary-Area Youth in Combatting Anti-Black Racism

Calgary, AB – Children First Canada (CFC), BlackNorth Initiative (BNI), and United Way of Calgary and Area (UWCA) are proud to announce the launch of a Youth Social Impact Forum aimed at empowering Calgary-area youth to tackle anti-Black racism. This forum will provide an innovative and safe space for young minds to learn from emerging and established leaders while exchanging ideas with their peers.

Purpose and Partnership

The forum’s primary objective is to increase the capacity of Calgary-area youth in addressing anti-Black racism, fostering innovation, and offering solutions to the pressing challenges they face. CFC, committed to ensuring the rights of Canadian children and amplifying their voices, joins hands with BNI’s Alberta Chapter and UWCA to create a platform where youth can discuss and take action against systemic racism.

Venue and Special Guests

The forum will be held on Thursday July 27th, from 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm at the Calgary Central Library (main floor auditorium), offering easy access for participants and an environment for social innovation.
Leveraging CFC’s expertise in child and youth facilitation on complex social issues and UWCA’s Social Impact Lab (SIL), the event will feature keynote speaker Wes Hall, Executive Chairman of Kingsdale Advisors, Founder of the BlackNorth Initiative and Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, along with Larissa Crawford, founder of Future Ancestors, presenting on youth-led approaches to anti-Black racism and coaching the social impact labs with youth.

Capturing the Voice of Children/Youth

The forum will kick off with a welcome, land acknowledgement, and icebreaker, followed by Larissa Crawford’s presentation on youth-led approaches to anti-Black racism. Youth-led social impact labs will explore themes such as education, economic opportunities, healthcare, justice, safety, and allyship. An interactive Q&A session with Wes Hall, with the event culminating in “Dragons Den” style social impact pitches by the youth participants.
“We stand together, united in our commitment to empowering Calgary-area youth in their fight against anti-Black racism,” said Wes Hall. “The Youth Social Impact Forum provides an innovative and safe space for young minds to learn, exchange ideas, and take action against systemic racism. By fostering innovation and amplifying the voices of our youth, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society for future generations.”

About Children First Canada (CFC)
Children First Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that the rights of all 8 million Canadian children are upheld and that their voices are heard. CFC strives to address the most pressing challenges facing children and youth through innovative solutions and collaborative efforts. For more information, please visit:

About BlackNorth Initiative (BNI)
The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business-first mindset. We are committed to the removal of systemic anti-Black barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. For more information, visit: and follow us on social media @blacknorthca.

About United Way of Calgary and Area (UWCA)
United Way of Calgary and Area focuses on improving the lives of local communities in Calgary and its surrounding areas. By bringing people together to solve complex issues, UWCA strives to create lasting impact in areas such as poverty, children’s well-being, and building strong communities.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Theresa Freeman