Meet Our Board of Directors

Evelyn Adu-Febiri

Sherley Tamar

Evelyn is a CPA who has held various financial management roles at both the regional and national levels of the Canadian Federal Public Service. Evelyn has always had a passion for the issues that affect the outcomes of racialized youth and young adults and as a result, has volunteered, worked with and mentored these populations in various community based organizations as well as in her professional career to improve these outcomes.


Ottawa, ON 

Sherley is a Human Resources Business Partner for Cision. She is a graduate of Ryerson University and has been in HR for over 10 years with the focus being on the human and ensuring they have the proper tools to succeed. As a mother of 2 young Black women, Sherley wants to transcend her professional life by 

mentoring and equipping our Black women with skills to thrive.

Charlemagne, QC 

Olivia McKenzie

Olivia is an associate in the information technology group at Fasken LLP. She practices

predominantly in the area of Business Law with an emphasis on commercial technology

transactions. She is a graduate from Osgoode Hall Law School the University of Toronto. Olivia

remains a advocate for Black women in both her personal and professional live and currently

acts as a mentor to young Black women as a part of Black Future Lawyer and the Laws in

Action within Schools Program.


Toronto ON

 Vanessa Arnele 

Vanessa is one of the Co-Founders for the Ottawa Black Diaspora Coalition and The Melanin Project Ottawa. She's served as an Executive at the students’ union for the University of Ottawa and served in the position of Executive Director; advisor and secretary of the Board. As a Black woman, Vanessa had to defend herself throughout her life, navigating different systems that perpetuated anti black racism. She worked hard to educate herself on her history and intersections within the Black community. She is a proud mother and community advocate and will do her best to serve in the best interest of Black folks, particularly Black women on this board.

Ottawa ON

Renée Graf, MBA, B.Ed., CIM, FMA, FCSI ®


Renée is deeply passionate about literacy, education and the importance of life-long learning. Over the years, she has been actively involved in various mentorship programs affiliated with organizations such

as Big Sisters, LinkedIn and Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals (CAUFP). She has been an advocate and enthusiastic supporter of black female youth and young adults, helping them to secure the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

She has also facilitated one-day financial and economic literacy programs for students in Grades 8-10, challenging them to think about how staying in school can lead to more positive work and life outcomes. Professionally, Renée has spent the past 15 years working as an internal business coach for a number of Canada’s leading financial services firms. She is fluently trilingual and has leveraged her linguistic skills to complete international work assignments in Mexico and Chile.

Toronto ON

Phyllis Phiri

Phyllis has dedicated nearly a decade of her career working in various ministries across the provincial government, with her most recent role being a Senior Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

Passionate about equipping others with strategies to navigate the increasingly competitive labour market and fulfilling their professional aspirations as she has, Phyllis serves as an alumni career mentor coaching students at Ryerson University and recent immigrants via the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council. 

Phyllis holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Ryerson University and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Labour Studies from McMaster University.

Nadia  love for news has taken her from coast to coast. These days, you’ll find her at Global BC, where she works as a videojournalist. She got her start at Rogers TV Peel as a reporter, anchor and talk show host. She’s also worked as a news writer for The Weather Network, writing weather-centric casts for a national audience. In 2010, Nadia joined the CBC, working as a multi-platform reporter and anchor in St. John’s, Calgary and Edmonton. She also spent six years as an editor and freelance writer for Planet Africa Magazine, a Toronto-based quarterly publication that celebrates the achievements of the Black community across the diaspora. Nadia is active in her community as a mentor.  

Nadia Stewart

Coletta McGrath

Coletta describes herself as one part "protired",  two parts community, and three parts family and friends.  Yes, she knows it's a lot of parts. She "protired" 18 months ago, leaving her human services career after 40 years to explore. Before that, she held several roles, most recently as the founding Executive Director of Quest Community Health Centre in Niagara Region.

Community has always been important to Coletta. Community is about people; mobilizing talents; and dreaming.  She has always volunteered in the community, including supporting new immigrant moms to building two lifelease buildings for seniors, and now serving on Future Black Female's Board. 

Port Dalhousie ON

Semirath Fagbemi

Social justice is one of my passions and my why is to empower the most vulnerable so they can change the narratives for themselves and their loved ones. I am wholeheartedly committed to support Black females in achieving their goals and in having the place they deserve in the society. This mission is an important matter that I hope you’ll join in, commit to it and champion it, as we need community efforts to create long lasting change.

Ottawa ON