‘It’s my duty to be as visible as possible’

“There’s unfortunately a misconception that success in our community comes from being a musician, like a rapper, or an athlete. And that’s simply not the case,” he says. “I take it as my duty and obligation to be as visible as possible. … if I can inspire even one child to see financial planning as an occupation where they can be successful, I believe I’ll have done my part.”

While a lot of progress has been made to raise awareness, there are still many gaps to fill. Statistics show that the unemployment rate among Black Canadians is almost double that of non-racialized Canadians. Black Canadian men earn $30,000 on average, compared to $60,000 for men who aren’t a visible minority; for Black women, that gap is around $33,000 to $40,000 for non-visible minorities.

According to 2016 census data from Statistics Canada, 8.3% of members of racialized groups reported capital gains in 2015, compared to 11.9% for non-racialized groups. And while 30.8% of non-racialized Canadians reported getting investment income that year, only 25.1% of racialized Canadians said they got income from their investments. Black Canadians also fell disproportionately to the bottom half of the national distribution of economic family incomes, with 60% of households falling below that mark compared to just 47% of non-racialized Canadians.

In a study this week, Statistics Canada also reported that Black-owned incorporated businesses tend to not perform as well financially as those owned by white people or other racialized groups.

“I live in downtown Toronto, so I hear people talking about how elevated and expensive the real estate market is,” Dewdney says. “The young people that are getting in are the ones with the ability to go to the Bank of Mom and Dad. But that’s not an option in the Black community; half of them are not homeowners, and even more of them don’t have income investment portfolios, or even capital to lend.”

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