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Home » The Role of Philanthropy in Reimagining the Educational Pipeline

The Role of Philanthropy in Reimagining the Educational Pipeline

Presenter: Minnie Karaja, Liban Abakor, Ikem Opara & Moy Fung

Workshop Description

We will explore innovative approaches that Philanthropic organizations have taken in reimagining educational pipelines for students particularly Black and racialized students. We will learn about Rideau Hall Foundation's work in helping students to chart their own destiny through its Catapult Canada Program and at Youth Leap's work in delivering innovative solutions for Black, racialized and otherwise at-risk youth to achieve their educational and employment goals. In looking at these approaches, we will discuss the possibilities for liberatory education they create, the challenges and how they can be amplified and scaled to create positive impacts for students.

Upon completion of their education, many former students are employed in the private sector. We will explore how the private sector is influencing and reimagining the educational pipeline. As well as critically explore the role of the sector in advancing liberatory education. 


Minnie Karanja, MA
Network for the Advancement of Black Communities, Director of Policy and Communications

Minnie Karanja is Director of Policy and Communications at the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities. In her role she identifies priority policy issues pertinent to the Black community across the social determinants of health. She also leads government relations and is involved in developing transformative partnerships across Canada, that benefit the Black community and contribute to building an equitable society. 

Prior to this role she worked at the Kenyan Canadian Association contributing to strategic communications and stakeholder relations. She has more than eight years of experience working in the non profit and international development sectors in Kenya and Rwanda. She has a Masters in international relations and a BSc. in international business management. 

Liban Abakor
Youth Leaps, Executive Director

Liban Abokor is the Executive Director of Youth LEAPS, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving educational and employment outcomes for Black youth in Toronto. Liban was a founding member of Ontario's Premiers Council on Youth Opportunities, which assisted in the development of the province's Youth Action Plan and Youth Opportunities Fund. Liban is a dedicated volunteer who has served on the boards of the Laidlaw Foundation, Central Neighbourhood House, and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. He is now a member of the Shoot For Peace Board of Directors and a member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Economic Development and Culture Division of the City of Toronto.

Ikem Opara
Rideau Hall Foundation, Director, National Learning Partnerships 

Ikem Opara has spent the last 20 years engaging public and private sector partners in Canada, Tanzania, Kenya and Cuba, to build relationships and strengthen connections across national, linguistic, cultural and other borders. Following progressive roles at Pathways to Education, Canada World Youth, and Canadian Jesuits International over the years, Ikem most recently led Ontario Trillium Foundation’s strategy, grant-making and capacity building work with a focus on inclusion, and improved outcomes for Black and Indigenous youth. Ikem lives in the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Treaty, Toronto, from where he supports the work of the Rideau Hall Foundation.

Moy Fung
Canadian Congress on Inclusive Diversity & Workplace Equity, Director of Strategic Partnerships

Moy Fung is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Canadian Congress on Inclusive Diversity & Workplace Equity and the Founder/CEO, You Inspire Me Women Enterprise.

For almost two decades, she has been creating social change through entrepreneurship, with a focus on the education and empowerment of women and minoritized and marginalized groups of people.

A mother, author, certified coach, talk show host, and a results-oriented entrepreneur, Moy believes that while advocating for the change of societal factors that create limitations for many, major setbacks are often rooted in emotional turmoil from inter-generational or childhood trauma and toxic experiences.

Driven by the quest for social justice and the needs and well-being of the disadvantaged, Moy leverages her numerous platforms and influence to teach on the importance of personal leadership, self-esteem, developing a godly character, honing entrepreneurial skills, and adopting a simpler lifestyle to achieve peace of mind, relational success, economic empowerment, and overall quality of life.

Moy is the author of Success Is a Journey, The Entrepreneur's Handbook, and the founder of several brands, including STARS Youth International, You Inspire Me Women, Daughters of Royalty, Pray for the Men Global, and Moy Talks Podcast.