Did you know Hustle + Charm is a Black-owned business?
February is Black History Month, and as a community who values and celebrates diversity and inclusion, we’re highlighting and celebrating Black women in Manitoba who are following their passions, using their voices and paving the way for other Black women (and women in general!).
In case you missed the announcement, we’re hosting a Celebrating Black Women in Business panel on Feb. 27! Join us for an afternoon of inspiration, empowerment and a celebration of Black excellence.
Meet our Panelists
Shanise Burgher is a clinical sociologist, therapist and owner of Level Up Therapy Practice. She has a master of arts in sociology from the University of Manitoba and a diploma of applied psychology and counselling from the Kelowna College of Professional Counselling.
Shanise uses her unique educational background to help individuals understand the ways in which society, social circumstances and environment can impact our mental health.
“Being a Black woman in the field of mental health is something I am passionate about. Though perspectives are changing, stigma surrounding mental health still exists. There is also stigma that is specific to the Black community. This stems from distrust in government and organizational structures, to stereotypes in Black communities, to lack of representation,” she says.
“However, there is trauma that occurs that is specific to People of Colour, and because of that, it is important to many individuals that their therapist look like them,” she continues. “I am glad that I can be that face.”
Shanise lends a compassionate, tailored approach to therapy and believes there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to healing. She is passionate about helping everyone become the best versions of themselves, and to ‘level up’ through healing, growth and understanding.
Oyíndàmólá Áláká and Akosua Bonsu are co-founders of NOIR Professionals, a startup with the goal of connecting, creating and cultivating opportunities for Black professionals in Canada.
Oyíndàmólá is a Nigerian-born, award-winning community organizer, project manager and event planner. She holds a bachelor of arts (Adv.) in women and gender studies from the University of Manitoba and her research has focused on gender, media and pop culture.
She is the recipient of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission – Sybil Shack Youth Award (2019) and the Black History Month Manitoba Youth Achievement Award (2020). She is also a sought-after political campaign strategist and has worked on historical campaigns, both at the municipal and provincial levels of the Manitoban government.
A first-generation Canadian born to parents from Ghana, Akosua has called Winnipeg home all her life. She holds a bachelor of arts (Adv.) in global political economy.
A policy and program analyst with the Government of Manitoba, Akosua first became interested in political economy when she was selected from several hundred applicants to represent Canada on an international trade mission to southeast Asia – the only Black person of the 30 people picked.
Shocked but not surprised by this, her extracurricular activities now revolve around empowering Black youth to reach their full potential. Her ambition and leadership have won her several awards, and she remains unstoppable in increasing representation of Black people in political and economic spheres.
In their roles with NOIR Professionals, Oyíndàmólá and Akosua bring both aspiring and young Black professionals together for career growth and business support. The first organization of its kind in Canada, it helps drive more Black professionals into industries and positions where Black people are often underrepresented.
“For far too long, we’ve seen a need for a space where young Black professionals can gain support and mentorship from people who look like them, and people who have walked in their shoes,” their website states. “Opportunities to network with other aspiring Black professionals and current leaders of industry is one of the driving forces behind our organization. We believe there’s strength in numbers and by working together, we can redefine what’s possible.”
Our upcoming panel is a great opportunity to learn about different industries, ask questions to help facilitate your business growth, and discover ways to build and support diverse and inclusive communities. Join the Celebrating Black Women in Business online panel on Feb. 27 and be sure to check out our events page for other upcoming Hustle + Charm events!