An Open Letter to BGC Canada
I remember being a little girl living in the Jane and Finch community of Toronto and wondering why everyone said that my neighbourhood was so bad when all I ever saw was the good. All I saw were people of different races and ages coming together, laughing, playing, dancing, listening to music and sharing our meals because that’s how we got to know each other; we broke bread and we explained what Baklava was, or Ackee and Salt Fish, or Butter Chicken, or Chow Mein … all the things we learned about each other, we learned through our palates.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (now BGC Canada) was a place that was safe and also a brave space. I felt so brave there that I would comfortably speak up; I would share my opinions on things so much so that sometimes I was rendered too mature and too outspoken – but not by all, because most of the leaders saw a light in me and knew that I was going to become something special. One of those leaders was Dwight Drummond, who is now the Dwight Drummond we know on CBC News, but I knew him as Dwight Drummond with the dimple in his nose, who I called ‘bum nose’! Yeah, kids can be so crazy sometimes. To me, the little dip in his nose looked like he had a booty on his face, but we laugh about it now because, after all, what does a 10-year-old know? Nothing! Anyway, I digress. I look at Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada from then until BGC Canada now and I’m so grateful to see how empowered the youth’s voices have become. I’m so grateful to see that their maturity and life experiences are being celebrated and awarded by BGC Canada with national initiatives like Youth of the Year, the Youth Leading Reconciliation program, and the National Youth Council (NYC) – and celebrated by our Prime Minister and by people like me, once a member, now an ambassador.
I want to celebrate BGC Canada for all that they’re doing, all that they’ve done and all that they’re about to do. I know that being part of BGC Canada played a great, important, valuable role in my life because I was able to be a kid; even though I had my moments of maturity, my frontal lobe and prefrontal cortex were still developing and so it was nice to go there and be accountable and to make sure my homework was done so I could get back to playing already! I was super young when I was a member and I’m so grateful that somebody saw a light in me and allowed it to shine.
BGC Canada, congratulations on all of your success! I celebrate everyone in leadership and I want to send a special shout out to Jared Morrow who has been amazing to get to know, work with, build with, dream with and someone who I have chosen, as a black woman, to call an ally.
June 18, 2021
Change come fast…change come slow…but change comes…
The word of God says “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”Romans 12:19
Change come fast…Change come slow…But Change comes…
Although this will never bring him back, we stand in solidarity for this to be a precedent.
Relax In Paradise Brother #RunningForTheRight
Tap/click the image below to watch a special CBC cut of Jully Black’s ‘Running’ video.
Writers: @missjullyblack @therealkellindo @versaceptheofficial
@cbc @cbcnews @cbcthenational
Jully’s debut on The Morning Show!
Watch Jully’s debut of her new Motivation Monday segment on CTV’s ‘The Morning Show’ below!
Announcement! Jully and Boys and Girls Clubs on IG LIVE! January 27 @6:00PM
Today is the day, fam!
Join me and Boys and Girls Clubs on Instagram LIVE – 6:00PM EST! We’re putting the power in the hands of our youth!
As part of my work with Boys & Girls Clubs, I’m hosting an Instagram Live session TODAY at 6PM EST. Tune in to my conversation with young leaders from Toronto, Halifax, and Cape Breton to hear why OPPORTUNITY matters, about how they give back to community, and what they have learned from their culture and history.
It’s all about humility and inspiration—I’m excited to learn!
Join us! IG: @missjullyblack
The POWER OF STEP! Movin’ In The Morning with Jully Black on Breakfast Television.
ICYMI! ‘Movin’ in the Morning’ with Jully Black on Breakfast Television was a blast! Dina Pugliese was losing it! Jully led BT through the Power of STEP! Check out ‘Step It Up’ with Jully Black and use promo code “StepBT” for a discount in online classes at https://www.thepowerofstep.com/
Tune in to ‘Home For The Holidays’ on CityTv, Dec 1, 10pm ET!
It’s December! Let the holidays begin! WATCH ‘Home For The Holidays’ TONIGHT, Dec 1, 2020 on Citytv at 10pm ET, 9pm CT, 8:30 MT! Tessa Virtue hosts along with our girl Miss Jully Black and NBA Superstar Jamal Murray, Nick Nurse, Max Kerman of Arkells, Max Domi, Wayne Simmonds, plus some surprise guests! @preschoice President’s Choice Sportsnet #TuneIn #homefortheholidays
Tap the link to watch the clip –> https://www.citytv.com/show/home-for-the-holidays-presented-by-presidents-choice/
“As a Boys & Girls Clubs champion and their Systemic Opportunity spokesperson, Canadian icon Jully Black has written an article for The Toronto Star that proves #OpportunityChangesEverything”
Opportunity changes everything
If this sentence doesn’t resonate with you, then maybe opportunity wasn’t something you had to think about. Or maybe you had to create your own opportunities — but doors were still open to you and so “changes everything” doesn’t hit the same.
When I first heard this, I liked it. It rang true because it moves from the usual debates about policing and gun control and other short-term solutions and looks to the long game: if we create opportunities, especially for young people, we change lives, we change communities, we change our
For me, opportunity is when those who are invisible or excluded are given a chance to show their abilities to others who have the resources to take them to the next level. I often say give me the interview and I will get the job. I’m not looking for you to give me the job — I’m looking for a safe and brave space to present the greatness that I have manifested.
Playing organized basketball at the Boys and Girls Club was my opportunity. It kept me focused and off the streets. I always did well academically and clearly music was a given, but it was when I got deep into organized sports that I realized sport imitates society. If you can contribute to a team and you know that the success of that team is dependent on your commitment and focus, it will transfer into other areas of your life. I fundamentally believe that I’ve had success in the music business because I know how to play on a team.
I know people will read this and say I am an exception — but I shouldn’t be. For too many Canadians, opportunity is not available. How do you realize your potential when you can’t even find the doors in the first place, let alone open them?
We are lucky in Canada to have organizations out there doing what they can to level the playing field, like Boys & Girls Clubs. Across the country, they remove barriers and create opportunities for thousands and thousands of kids and teens. Most importantly, they help kids develop the talents and skills they need so that when a door opens, a young person can take advantage of that moment.
That’s why I’m happy to champion their new Systemic Opportunity campaign, which reinforces the role Boys & Girls Clubs play in building social safety nets for so many young Canadians.
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap across Canada, especially for BIPOC communities. Over the summer, Black people and other people of colour made up 83 per cent of COVID cases in Toronto. StatsCan data shows that workers of colour are hit harder by job loss, Indigenous communities are experiencing worsening mental health, and newcomers are struggling with increased anxiety.
In general, racial inequities are on the rise. And research shows that children who face racism are more likely to be victims of poverty and abuse, have more interactions with child welfare and the justice system, and experience challenges at school.
The new Boys & Girls Clubs campaign contrasts these systemic issues with the systemic solutions that Clubs offer — equity, acceptance, support, opportunity. And these are not just words. This way of thinking structures all their programs and services, with one goal: provide young people with what they need to be their best selves.
I have seen this firsthand. I have witnessed how club staff and participants have formed unique connections that are tied to their humanity, not what could be happening outside the club’s door. I have spoken to club members and heard the excitement about their future, despite their current circumstances. It’s clear
they are supported and encouraged.
But Boys & Girls Clubs and other charitable organizations shouldn’t be doing this work alone. If opportunity is giving those who are invisible and excluded a chance to showcase their abilities, then it’s clear we need to create favourable conditions — and that means investing in young people and the communities where they live.
Many of us are born with what people call “raw talent.” And when I hear the word raw, I think of what is needed to shape that talent. It’s not just money. Youth need to know that they are being heard and respected and taken seriously enough to be invested in.
It’s a beautiful thing to receive a financial boost, but it’s even more important to see the proud and present heart behind the donation. That’s what will propel Black youth and others who need opportunity to truly soar into their purpose.
Opportunity changes everything.
Dubbed Canada’s Queen of R&B, Jully Black is a platinum-selling, award-winning recording artist, actress in film, theatre, and television, and a major presence in the Canadian media and entertainment industry.
Opportunity changes everything: Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada launches new Systemic Opportunity campaign and welcomes Jully as Spokesperson!
We are happy to announce that Jully has joined forces (once again!) with the incredible Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada for their Systemic Opportunity campaign!
We are sharing the press release with you below and will be sharing more details in the very near future. Stay tuned!
Toronto, ON, October 21, 2020 – Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada launched a new campaign that reinforces the important role Boys & Girls Clubs play in building social safety nets for so many young Canadians.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and exposed serious systemic issues, from racism and other forms of discrimination to inequity and the far-reaching effects of poverty. Research shows that children who face racism are more likely to be victims of poverty and abuse, have more interactions with child welfare and the justice system, and experience challenges at school. Our new campaign juxtaposes these systemic issues with the systemic solutions that Boys & Girls Clubs across the country offer—equity, acceptance, support, opportunity.
“The core values of Boys & Girls Clubs—Belonging, Respect, Encouragement and Support, Working Together, Speaking Out—are built around inclusion and we are proud of the work we do,” says Owen Charters, President & CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. “Our new Systemic Opportunity campaign encapsulates the driving force behind Boys and Girls Clubs with a simple statement: opportunity changes everything. Whether it’s homework help or a homeless shelter, a quick snack after school or the only meal of the day, a high five or a 1-to-1 mental health check-in, our Clubs offer everything a young person needs, including access to opportunities they might not find outside our walls—but could change their life.”
The campaign was developed in close collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada’s strategic and creative agency ROUND, along with the creative team of Tim Das and Sean Davison, and ROUND’s production partners Makers, School Editing, and Grayson Music.
“Boys & Girls Clubs do so much and we needed more people to understand the significant difference they make in the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids across the country. There’s no denying the power of the word ‘Systemic’. But these days, systemic is always followed up by a negative word like ‘Racism’, ‘Poverty’ or ‘Inequity’. Systemic problems require systemic change. That’s how we landed on Systemic Opportunity. Because investing in kids and youth is how we can all work to fix many of the systemic issues in our society today,” said ROUND Founding Partner & Creative Director, Paul Riss.
The campaign is not just a clever play on words. For over a century, Boys and Girls Clubs have removed barriers and created opportunities for all young people, of all backgrounds. We see firsthand the effects of systemic problems—and we know that the solution is investing in young people, in communities, in platforms that give young people a voice. We know the solution is systemic.
We are also proud to welcome beloved Canadian icon Jully Black as spokesperson for our new campaign and strong supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Systemic campaign debuted today on Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada’s social media platforms (@BGCCAN and #OpportunityChangesEverything) and will extend to television and cinema over the next few weeks.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada
Community-based services. Positive relationships. Life-changing programs. As Canada’s largest child- and youth-serving charitable organization, Boys and Girls Clubs provide vital programs and services to over 200,000 young people in 775 communities across Canada. During critical out-of-school hours, our Clubs help young people discover who they are, what they can do, and how they can get there. Our trained staff and volunteers give them the tools to realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, mental health, leadership, and more. Since 1900, Boys and Girls Clubs have opened their doors to children, youth, and families in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities. If a young person needs it, our Clubs provide it. Learn more at bgccan.com and follow us on social media @BGCCAN.
ROUND is a creative and strategic partnership founded by two experienced agency leaders, Paul Riss, Creative Director and Mike Davidson, Managing Director. ROUND works with the top talent in the industry to solve business challenges through creative thinking. ROUND’s mission is to build up client brands while tearing down agency overhead. For more information, please visit WeAreRound.com. Follow ROUND on Instagram @round_advertising.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Manager, Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada
Founding Partner & Managing Director, ROUND