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Protecting your Mind, Stories from Black tech - Presented by Bell

Start Date:1/27/2021

Start Time:6:30 PM EST

Duration:90 minutes

We did it!

We made it through 2020 and we're celebrating the new year with new opportunities. We also know about all the scars 2020 has left on Black communities, including the Black tech and business ecosystem.

BPTN's report on the impact of COVID-19 on Black tech showed that about 28% of Black techs had a family member, colleague or were personally diagnosed with the virus. Furthermore, we found that about 23% of the Black tech community’s employment and work life were affected by it. Finally, 52% of Black techs are anxious about possible job losses, worried about their work future, post pandemic new norms and anxious about their family's health.

All data point to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black tech, through a combination of job losses (last hired and first fired), physical health, the loss of social connections (mentorship/ networking) and more. These same impacts have sustained implications on the ability of the Black community to thrive long term! We want to ensure that the ecosystem continues to build community, connect, grow and learn. This powerful event, brought to you by BELL, will explore how the mental health of the Black tech community was impacted in 2020 and also, how to continue to activate the brilliance and resilience of the Black tech community to thrive in 2021.

It will also be a safe space to hear sound advice about looking after your mind, nurturing your brilliance and resilience, and thriving through 2021.

Whether you're a senior leader or an experienced Black tech professional, you want to be here to gain that inside track needed to win in this new reality.

This is your year! Start it with BPTN, by shaking off 2020, building your tribe and growing your Network in 2021.



If you're already registered for the Protecting your Mind, Stories from Black tech - Presented by Bell webcast, click below:



Alia Hussey

Senior Legal Counsel

Bell Media & Bell TV

Alia Hussey is a media law professional with over 16 years of in-house experience at Canada’s largest media companies. As a member of the B.C.E. Legal and Regulatory team, Alia advises the Bell Media Programming and the Bell Residential Services Content teams, for whom she negotiates and structures international TV content and App licensing deals for traditional and streaming services. A champion of diversity and equity, Alia is the creator and a director of the Bell Media Diversity and Inclusion Think Tank (DAITT), B.C.E.’s largest and most active Business Unit Diversity Council and one of four key pillars of the Bell Media Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

Tarisai Madambi

Snr Manager


Tarisai is a Finance leader providing strategic counsel to finance executives with a proven record of implementing transformation projects and programs. Currently, she maintains her focus on elevating the role of finance as a change leader and strategic business partner, embedding new technologies and innovation to deliver data-driven insights in decision-making. With more than fifteen years’ experience both as an independent external advisor and as part of internal management, Tarisai has worked primarily in commercial real estate, telecommunications, power and utilities industry sectors. Tarisai brings extensive knowledge and strong leadership in optimizing operating models through finance function visioning, strategic business (re)alignment, and full-scale transformation. In addition to her client service role, Tarisai is a passionate advocate for equity and inclusion with particular interest on matters related to mental health, gender, race and ethnicity. She was the motivating force behind establishing KPMG’s Black Professionals Network in 2019 and has courageously shared her voice to help build awareness and understanding of anti-black racism here in Canada. Tarisai was a KPMG national Social Impact Award recipient in 2020 for her purpose-driven leadership on increasing engagement on matters impacting Black employees and reshaping the firm’s vision and mandate to provide a more equitable and inclusive workplace. Tarisai is an active member of KPMG’s Network of Women and is a key advisor on KPMG’s Inclusion & Diversity agenda. Daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and colleague, Tarisai always puts people at the center of her decisions and actions.

Myron Parks

Head of Product


Myron is an Agile leader with extensive experience leveraging technology to deliver compelling products to market. His expertise is anchored by his formal studies emphasizing technology, leadership, and human potential. He builds high performing teams and organizations by creating human-centered environments, inspiring teams, experimenting and iterating approaches to achieve the best results. Over his 20+ year career he has specialized in building agility into 21st century digital product teams, leveraging modern delivery pipelines to bring products to life. Myron’s expertise includes delivery process improvement, team alignment, process engineering, performance metrics, QA strategy, Agile leadership, product release and DevOps. Certifications: Master of Education, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, SAFe 4.6 Agilist, CSM®, CSPO®, ICP-ENT, ICP-CAT, ITIL Service Operation and Service Strategy.

Nicolas Siou

Director Finance


Education: Holds a bachelor of commerce degree and a diploma of accountancy from Concordia University; and is a CPA, CA. Awards and involvement: Recipient of the 2020 Bravo Award and the 1999 BCE CEO Award. Active involvement in recruiting and mentoring Finance new grads in Québec. Bell Black Professionals Network member and CP4 supporter. Loves travelling and discovering new cultures. Born in Mauritius and arrived in Canada at 19. Have two boys 20 and 18. Soccer coach for his boys for 10 years.

Julie Ricketts Daniel

Director, Asset Management & Workplace


Julie Ricketts Daniel joined Bell Canada in 2000 as a manager within the Purchasing and Supply Chain organization negotiating supply agreements for emerging technologies on behalf of Bell. She later held the role of Senior Manager – Procurement Operations where she was responsible for governance, measurement of procurement performance and policy. She transitioned to the world of corporate real estate in 2016 when she joined the Bell Real Estate Services team as the Director of Performance Management delivering business analytics and managing Bell’s real estate service provider, BGIS. In August of 2018, she took on a new role as Director of Asset Management & Workplace supporting her team of asset managers who look after 27M sq. ft. of space across Canada. Julie holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University, Montréal. She is a former native of Quebec and now lives in Ajax, Ontario with her husband, daughter and son.

Dr. Myrna Lashley

Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University

McGill University

Dr. Myrna Lashley holds a Ph.D in counselling psychology from McGill university. She was an Associate Academic dean at John Abbott College She is also an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry of McGill University as well as a researcher and project leader at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Jewish General Hospital. She is an internationally recognized clinical, teaching and, research authority in cultural psychology, and serves as an expert psychological consultant to institutions, including the juvenile justice system. She is also the Chair of the First-Line Psychosocial Science Committee of the Clinical Ethics Committee of CIUSS de centre-ouest-de-l'ile-de-Montréal. She has worked both as a consultant to First Nations and the Jewish communities, and as the Cross Cultural Trainer for the Grievance Committee office of the secretariat for McGill University. She has also conducted training workshops locally, nationally, and internationally and has acted as a consultant to the Brazilian health care system. She was a director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and has also served on the Comité consultatif sur les relations Interculturelles et Interraciales de la Communauté Urbaine de Montréal. From 2008 to 2017 she was the Chair of the Cross Cultural Roundtable on Security. She was the Vice-chair of the board of the École Nationale de Police du Québec from 2004 - 2017. As well as conducting research on police matters, she has also been appointed to the Comité expert en matière de profilage racial of the Service de ploice de la Ville de Montréal and to the Comité-conseil sur l'organisation d'une consultation sur le racisme et la discrimination systémique. She is a consultant to government and non-governmental agencies at the Canadian federal, provincial and municipal levels on issues of equity and inclusivity. In addition to academic publications, she has also authored two training manuals on intercultural issues in the workplace and co-authored book chapters. She has received several awards including the 2015 Woman of Merit Award from the Playmas Montreal Cultural Association; the Queen Elizabeth II 2012 Diamond Jubilee award; 2006 Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Award for Holocaust studies; the 2004 Martin Luther King legacy award; as well as the 1995 Merit Award for the Kanawake Native survival school. Her current research focuses on the intersections of culture, terrorism and national security. She is currently Barbados’s Honorary Consul to Montreal.

Lekan Olawoye

Founder & CEO


A passionate advocate for organizational change and lasting progress, Lekan Olawoye is a leader who is equally comfortable offering high-level business advice as he is passionately speaking about how to be an effective ally. His organization, the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN), is the largest of its kind in Canada and the third largest in the US with an organization spanning over 10,000 members. Olawoye’s cross-sector experience gives him the skills to foster transformational change and provide critical guidance on harnessing the power of meaningful diversity. Olawoye honed his expertise across roles spanning from local non-profit organizations to government advisory boards to executive boardrooms. As lead executive, Talent Development at the MaRS District, Olawoye helped ensure workers had the skills and adaptability needed to thrive in modern work environments. Throughout these roles, Olawoye has earned a reputation for effective leadership and peerless vision, resulting in industry awards and accolades. With his proven insight and tireless dedication to inclusivity, Olawoye’s perspective is sought by people across many fields. He’s been published in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and TechCrunch, and the annual BPTN summit is the largest virtual Black tech summit globally, with thousands of attendees in person and online.
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