Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at JABC

JABC is dedicated to EDI principles in its program delivery, its organization and current and future endeavours. We believe these principles are crucial not only to the continued success of JABC, but for all organizations and businesses, and society as a whole. Central to our mission is not only building core skill sets in young people, but ensuring access and availability to all students, in all communities. 

  • In the 2020-2021 school year, JABC delivered 1,675 programs, with the assistance of approximately 300 volunteers 
  • Focusing on youth in grades 4 to 12, JABC delivered programs in 56 of B.C.’s 60 school districts and reached over 10% of all students in these grades 
  • JABC employs staff across many regions of the province, and delivers programs in every region in-person and online  
  • JABC continues to increase its custom-developed program offerings for at-risk or vulnerable populations, people of colour and Indigenous youth across the province  

 While we have significant representation across B.C, including in small and Indigenous communities, and work closely to deliver programs with organizations such as Thrive for Blacks, Island Crisis Care Society and Threshold Society, we know there is more to be done and we embrace that opportunity.  

Our goal is to deliver 2,025 programs annually by 2025. Specifically, we aim to deliver 50% more financial literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurship programs annually to B.C. Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in urban, rural and First Nations communities by 2025 (a 50% increase from 2019). 

Our Progress

The JABC 2019-2023 strategic plan, Bright Futures for All B.C.’s Youthestablishes a new path for the organization to leverage its expertise and commitment to supporting the changing educational needs of B.C.’s youth. A core element of the plan is to ensure British Columbians of all genders, orientations, abilities, ethnicities, and religions are represented and included at JABC.  

In early 2021, the JABC Board of directors formed the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to advance JABC’s deployment of crucial EDI principles as an organization and through JABC programming. The Task Force’s goal is to ensure the organization is being inclusive of all backgrounds and regions in B.C., and includes a focus on Indigenous youth.  

All JABC staff completed EDI training in 2021, including all members of the board and Task Force. We have also completed a diversity and employment engagement survey. 

In 2021, JABC worked with an external consultant (Dignii) to conduct an EDI audit. Dignii’s final report was delivered to JABC in early November and helps to identify key areas where our organization can build on its commitment to EDI principles. A key recommendation is the development of an EDI strategy, which will focus on strengthening our commitment to EDI principles in hiring practices, education and training programs, and policies and procedures across the organization. We will begin work on this strategy in 2022, with the expectation of implementing it within the year.  

As we develop our EDI strategy, we will reach out to stakeholders, donors and sponsors to engage them in our process. This is a journey for our organization and others across the sector. We’re excited to build on JABC’s already strong foundation and become a leader in this area. 

Working with Indigenous Communities

The Bright Futures for All B.C.’s Youth strategic plan includes a key organizational priority to advance EDI principles through expanding and enhancing access to programs for Indigenous youth by continuing to bring JA programs to Indigenous schools.  

Since 2016, JABC has been providing increased access to community-based, culturally-accessible educational programs for Indigenous youth focused on building financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. We work closely with Indigenous leaders and councils to adapt programs to make them suitable for the communities in which we are working, and plan to increase the scope and scale of this work.  

  • JABC began piloting its entrepreneurship programs in First Nations communities in 2016, and has since worked with nine communities, delivering 74 programs. In addition, JABC has delivered 678 programs since 2016 in classrooms (pubic or independent) that have 25% or more Indigenous learners.   
  • In the 2020- 2021 school year, JABC delivered 27 programs in nine Indigenous communities, reaching more than 400 students. 
  • In 2021, JABC began working with CIBC and TELUS to provide financial and digital education programs to Indigenous communities. To date, meetings have been held with Tŝilhqot’in National Government, Squamish Nation, and Yale First Nation.   
  • We are recruiting a Program Director, Indigenous Communities to support our work in this area, and our leadership team has undertaken a process to identify which recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada can be applied at and by JABC, and how we can advance reconciliation through our work.  

Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame

The Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame was created by JABC in 2005 to raise funds for programs and to honour British Columbia business leaders whose efforts have shaped our province and country. 

Nominations are open to the public, with nominees vetted through a nominating committee and a selection committee before Laureates are selected and ultimately inducted into the B.C. Business Hall of Fame. The nominating committee also works to generate nominations for worthy individuals. 

We are immensely proud of all Laureates and their achievements. We are also proud that in 2021 (delayed from 2020), the BLBC Hall of Fame inducted the most diverse slate of Laureates since the program began.

It is our mission to ensure the Hall of Fame is representative of all British Columbians, and we continue to actively take steps towards this goal. This includes the launch of a governance review of the Hall of Fame program this fall, facilitated by an outside consultant, Watson Advisors Inc. Their mandate includes reviewing the nominating and selection committees’ processes, to ensure a broad, inclusive lens is applied to the vetting of nominees and selection of Laureates. We are very pleased that the nominating and selection committees for 2021 benefited from increased geographic and cultural representation—more than ever before.  

JA Worldwide remains among the most impactful NGOs in the world, retaining our number-seven ranking for the third year in a row.

We acknowledge that our work spans many Territories and that our head office is located on the shared traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.