The ACSioN Network of Canada is a robust umbrella organization which fosters excellence in leadership at every level.
We are one team with many positions, led by our Network Core Administration (NCA) which is composed of our Board of Trustees, and our Board of Directors with its National Executive Board and multiple committees.
Our chapters and affiliates, the “spokes” of our umbrella, help us to fulfill our mission more completely by consistently enhancing direct connections with our local communities, and by providing support to African-Canadian students and young professionals within these local spheres of influence.
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD
Dwight has been building culturally-intelligent teams as a social entrepreneur for 15 years. His undergraduate studies in Political Science and Modern Chinese Language & Culture at Concordia University and Université de Montréal formed the background to, if not the source of, his passion for leadership and economic empowerment.
Throughout his professional career including 10 years in financial services & wealth management – most recently as an investment advisor and consultant to fintech start-ups – Dwight has become an astute observer of these legacy industries and how they can best leverage technology and social capital formation to meet the challenges of a new era.
Growing up in a proudly Saint Lucian household, I was blessed to learn the importance of education, heritage, as well as respect for and curiosity about all cultures and peoples. Most of all though, what my family inspired in me was a sense of purpose, creativity and resourcefulness.
In the fall of 2005 when I reached out to fellow Black student leaders to explore the establishment of a new umbrella organization, I knew what we were doing could be important, but I didn’t know just how much I would grow personally and professionally as a result of this involvement.
Nearly every founding assumption we had was questioned, and many obstacles were encountered as we persistently pivoted towards ever more consequential ways of helping the African diaspora in Canada to create enduring prosperity. Amazingly, through this relentlessly positive problem-solving process, the community we sought to build truly has come to resemble the vision set out many years ago by some wide-eyed young adults barely out of high school.
And we are just getting started! Brilliant futures await those who dare to construct their foundations today. Leadership makes it happen. I’m more excited than ever for us to keep building!
These are the beliefs of Yolande Monfiston: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ” – Confucius. We spend most of our time at work; it is important to do something that we love. We live in a world of possibilities, but we must create the opportunities we seek. Knowing yourself is the first step to success.
Yolande is passionate about career development. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in education specializing in Career Development at UQAM to help others reach their potential and their goals. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education specialized in adult training at UQAM.
Since I was a little girl, I dreamt of being a career woman. I wanted to make my mom and my dad proud.
Aspiring for a better future, they both left Haiti to seek new opportunities. Their job choices were limited by the need to provide for their family. As their offspring, I made a promise: carry their desires with me. I was the next generation. It has not always been easy. I had the talk; You must work twice as hard; you must give 110% to succeed, I heard it all.
I had what we call in career development “double jeopardy”. I am a Black woman. This never stops me. On the contrary, it ignited me. I wanted to make my community proud and still do. ACSioN was designed for this purpose. To lead the next generation of African diaspora towards career excellence. As a founding member of this organization, I am hopeful, and I believe we can achieve this task.
Alex is a PhD Candidate in Building Engineering at Concordia University. He has a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Liverpool and is an affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). He has had experience working in different industry sectors.
Alex has been involved with ACSioN since 2013 and has volunteered for various student groups. He also volunteers for causes he cares about. He served as a student leader in different capacities and was president of both the Concordia University Graduate Students Association (GSA) and the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) Concordia University Chapter.
Terrine is currently a Policy Analyst in the federal public service while completing her Doctorate in Law from the University of Ottawa. She obtained her LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School, her MSc in Gender and Culture from the London School of Economics and her BA in Journalism from Concordia University. Terrine is passionate about education and communication, and has taught for several years at Carleton University.
I have served as a student leader all throughout my studies, and I now mentor youth in my faith community. I chose to be a leader with ACSioN because of my natural skill empowering young people to excel in their chosen career paths while teaching them the values that matter most in life. I can’t forget to mention I have Trinidadian roots, which naturally explains why I have so much flavour. 😊
Board of Directors - Permanent Committees
Michel Thierry Bayiga is currently a Product Owner at Fairstone Financial while completing his GCBA at Concordia University. He obtained his Bachelors degree in Political Science from the same institution in 2015.
Michel Thierry Bayiga was born in Cameroon and had the opportunity to spend his early childhood in England before returning to his home country. Growing up in a God-fearing home, he learned the importance of helping and engaging in his community. This is what has pushed him to serve in several clubs at Concordia including, ASAC (2013-2014), ACSioN (2014-2015) and the Black Coalition of Quebec (2014). His dream is to see Black people of Montreal build a strong professional network that will empower our community and help our young graduates.
Edwige has a graduate diploma in criminology from Université de Montréal and is pursuing her degree in human resources management at HEC Montréal. She has previously done intervention work with various vulnerable populations and has acquired extensive research experience in social sciences. Edwige is interested in social justice and its intersection with popular culture.
During my studies, I was able to get involved in my school’s diversity committee. This opportunity allowed me to participate in the creation of spaces for Afro-descendant students to feel welcomed and recognized. As a Haitian Montrealer who is proud of her heritage, I am hoping to get involved at a local level and highlight the positive aspects of Black communities.
Organized, passionate, and resilient, human resources consultant, MBA candidate and real estate investor. cumulated a few years of experience recruiting, pushing the Black agenda and fighting systemic racism. Inspired by Dwight Best, joined ACSioN to help the Black community and network with other promising afro-descendant. Founder of an initiative to helping job seekers in the Black community with their CVs and interview process, been sensitized to the reality of the black and brown community from a young age by my father, then administrator for the Haitian embassy. Known in the Montreal community of activists for participating in numerous volunteering activities, also an active member of the Order of Certified human resources professionals. holds a bachelor in industrial relations. loves traveling. had the chance to visit several important cites in black history such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Birth Home of Martin Luther King, Jr, the Afro-Brazilian Museum of Salvador, Champs-de-Mars in Haiti and more.
Meet Fred-Elie Rocher, Born in Montreal Canada. Originally from Haiti. I have proudly represented my black culture since a young age. I a volunteered for numerous Black events and organization such as Library Racine, Salon international de la femme noire, The negro community centre, Groupe 3737, Espace Mushagalusa, just to name a few. I was inspired by leaders to be a fighter for blacks of all ages, black women and black people from a sexual minority. Part of my identify is my Christian values. I believe that I will someday help several Black-Owned businesses be more prosperous and have more space in our National economy.
Sarah-Lanny recently obtained a bachelor’s degree in the Specialization of Sociology program from Concordia University. She also previously graduated from Algonquin College in Ottawa, where she received a Police Foundations Diploma. Throughout her academic journey she has volunteered for various organizations, and also served as a student leader in different student organizations including ACSioN Concordia. Sarah-Lanny hope of one day starting a non-profit organization that will help and uplift members of her community and give them the resources they need to accomplish their goals.
“If you are fortunate to have an opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well.”
– Kamala Harris.
I strongly believes in giving back and uplifting others to achieve greatness. We are all dealt different cards and it is our responsibility to use the opportunities that are given to us to help others. Whatever school or city I am in, I always try to get involved and make sure that I contribute any skill that I have for the betterment of the community. In joining ACSioN Canada, I am hoping to connect with students and youth of African diaspora to help them get involved and help them find the resources they need to excel in their academic journey.
Chike Odenigbo is a graduate of the Bachelor of Commerce Program at McGill University and is currently working as a data scientist at Bell Canada. Prior to joining Bell, Chike has worked in analytics related roles at McGill University, TD Bank Group and LoyaltyOne.
I am very excited to be contributing to an organization with a mission of giving back such as ACSioN. As a university student, I was VP Finance for the McGill African Students’ Society and I am very proud of the various initiatives that the organization has been able to do for our communities such as our annual fundraising dinner that has raised donations for amazing charities during each of my mandates. I am originally from Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
Her life-long passion for promoting positive human interactions and intersectional feminism have shaped both her academic and professional careers as well as what she hopes to achieve at ACSioN. Her academic journey began with her Nursing diploma at Collège-de-Bois-de-Boulogne, followed by a B.A. in Women Studies at Concordia University. Nowadays, she is completing her B.Sc. in Nursing at Laurentian University.
Since elementary school, I have liked being involved in different associations and projects whether it was as a class representative, a plus-size model, a Sunday school teacher with the youth, or a backstage coordinator. I enjoy meeting new people, being exposed to new ideas, and sharing thoughts about different topics and experiences with them. To sum up, I am a proud black woman who happens to be a Christian, Haitian-Canadian, plus-size feminist nurse who likes to meet new people and to participate in exchanges about different social issues. Thus, one of my main goals in ACSioN Canada is to be a catalyst for change. Everything will start with you!
Yvette Mejo is currently a third-year business student at HEC Montréal. While working at accounting firms, the Government of Canada as well as other non profit organizations, she gained great insights she plans to use to fulfil her role within ACSioN.
I always find myself involved in projects intending to elevate and strengthen the Black Community. In the past years, I invested my time into initiatives such as creating a permanent Black History Month Committee at a secondary school as well as being a project manager for a Canadien non profit operating in Cameroon, my birth country.
Romeo M.Ndlovu graduated from Concordia – John Molson School of Business with a Major in Finance and Data intelligence. He is currently pursuing the CFA designation. During his studies, he interned in investment banking, corporate banking, engineering firm and is currently working at Intact Financial as a Financial Analyst – Performance management.
He is passionate about giving back to the community, loves sports and enjoys travelling.
Ms. Matthew is from the French Caribbean island Saint Martin. She moved to Canada to pursue her studies and graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Commerce in Management and International Business. Early on in her career, she explored the adoption of technological innovation as a competitive strategy for companies as a Consultant of Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). Today, Ms. Matthew is a Business Transformation Consultant at IBM who takes pride in providing her clients with recommendations on how to enable innovation through AI for long-term growth. Ms. Matthew is a strong pillar of the IBM community where she leads the Corporate Social Responsibility program of IBM Canada, its partnership with the Youth Chamber of Commerce of Montreal (JCCM) and is a proud lead of the African and Caribbean Network Group (ACNG) of IBM.
Nako Mbelle is the Founder and CEO of Fintech Recruiters located in Toronto. She started the firm in 2014 to meet the growing demand for specialized Fintech talent for startups disrupting the financial services sector. Her clients are all over the world but she places most of her candidates in Fintech hubs such as New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Atlanta, Boston, Austin, Miami, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. She graduated from Concordia with a degree in Political Science and worked briefly with the Ontario Ministry of Health as an Executive Assistant before starting her career in Information Technology. After, several years in Informational Technology Sales, she pivoted to a career in Technology Recruiting. She has volunteered as an advisor to several African startups and is a strong advocate of Pan-African business initiatives that bridge the Diaspora and Africa. She views herself as a global citizen and is a strong advocate for decentralized financial platforms powered by innovative blockchain technologies that level the playing field in the global economy.
I’m a child of the Diaspora. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta but grew up in Toronto, Canada. My mother is from Tobago and my dad was from Tanzania. I’ve lived in both of my parent’s countries and remain close to both sides of my family. I’ve volunteered as a mentor to other entrepreneurs both formally and informally over the years to show that anyone can start and run a business regardless of their background.
Ephodza is an experienced travel specialist with a background working for major brands in tourism and tech and holds a degree in business marketing. She is a connector of people and an entrepreneurship and creativity aficionado. Ephodza has been at the foundation of many business and community relationship formations. A Haitian-born girl from the Northside of Montreal, some of her most proudest accomplishments include her solo travels, especially those to the continent, as well as spearheading projects and creating healthy spaces for black youth and black professionals. Her driving forces are creativity, community, culture and personal development. As a champion of growth, she aims to elevate the black community by empowering a new generation of creatives through individual and collective resourcefulness. Her favourite activities include minding her business, dancing and eating Haitian food. Ways to pique her interest quickly include: some good Haitian (and other) food, great music and deep conversations.
My name in Loïka and I’m a new graduate in communications. I’m used to extracurriculars and was always in 2 or 3 throughout my studies so I decided to be involved in a group even if I’m not a student anymore. Because I know I wouldn’t like a life where I just work and do anything else.
I chose ACSioN because of its purpose. Wich is overall to help students from black communities by giving them opportunities to know how to start their career in the best possible way.
I’m actually Haitian. So if some or you don’t want to participate in our events because you not part of the African diaspora, know that you are welcome!
I’m an Island girl (from Haïti) Meaning I love every thing related to the summer, the beach, seafood, music … and everything a typical island girl 😉 But I also love discovering new things coming from my brothers and sisters from Africa and literally fell in love with their music.
I love to participate in and organize events and also give back to the community, which is why I was involved in multiple groups. Which have helped me with being more easy with people and in social gatherings.
Britney is currently employed in the financial services sector . She obtained her BComm in Marketing & Supply Chain Operations Management from John Molson School of Business, Concordia University. She enjoys all aspects of the Marketing field and plans to further her education in the future.
Born and raised in The Bahamas, Britney has always aspired to become a successful businesswoman. Her desire to seek out greater opportunities landed her in Canada. She has volunteered with ACSioN for a few years now and enjoys helping and bringing the community together in any way she can. Prior to her move to Canada she was also involved with the youth and children in her religious community. She lives by the verse – “With God all things are possible” – Matthew 19:26.