June 9 may have been a regular Friday night for many of us, but for some members of Suncor’s Black employee inclusion network, Mosaic, the night was an opportunity to celebrate Black professionals, entrepreneurs and youth at the third annual Calgary Black Achievement Awards (CBAAs).

“It was an incredible night and I realized throughout the experience that there is a lot of strength in diversity,” says Theo Agbonifo, Sr Mechanical Advisor and member of Mosaic. “As an organization we need to leverage the excellence that each person brings to the table, and I plan to bring all of what I learned to share at work and in the Fort McMurray community. “

The night was filled with storytelling, and both members and allies of the Black community had a front row seat to a celebration of many personal and professional achievements in Calgary’s Black community. “As an ally, hearing all the stories and witnessing such incredible achievements was truly moving,” says Kimberley Perry, Executive Assistant and member of Mosaic. “Being in that space was wonderful, warm and welcoming. It was a space to be heard, make new friends and for me, to be proud of our own Suncor representatives who presented. I felt humbled to be a part of it.”

This year Suncor sponsored the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) award, which recognizes a Black individual who made a profound difference in the areas of STEM. “Stepping up and playing a role in recognizing great people in the community, while also supporting the actions and mission of the Calgary Black Chambers, is the definition of allyship, because you are active in changing the narrative for Black people in the city.” says Jon Cornish, President Emeritus & Founder of Calgary Black Chambers.

Celebrating the CBAAs is timely as it took place days before Juneteenth (June 19)—the longest-running Black holiday that honours the day slavery ended in the United States.

A man in a suit at a podium delivering remarks at an event.
Dennis Banks, Senior Vice President, Operations Services, spoke at the Calgary Black Achievement Awards in early June.

“Supporting events like the CBAAs gives us the opportunity to celebrate the progress the Black community has made, while still acknowledging the work that lies ahead,” says Dennis Banks, Senior Vice President, Operations Services and Mosaic’s Executive Sponsor. “Mosaic and our Employee Networks are directing our efforts toward the same purpose; to create spaces where everyone can be their authentic selves, to create the ability for individuals to learn about our differences, and to remove gaps and barriers so we can work together seamlessly as an organization.”