The Weight of Change Rests on Each of Us

The Blanche Macdonald Centre announces the creation of a $1,000,000 Scholarship Program for Black Canadians.

This is part of our promise to uplift, amplify and celebrate Black Lives, and fight against Racism and Discrimination in all forms.

“The need for change bulldozed a road down the centre of my mind.” Maya Angelou

We are bearing witness to a changing world. A great opening, a tear along the fabric of the status quo, that has called us to action and forced us to look at ourselves in its light. This moment has made us listen, reflect and acknowledge that we are all part of a system built upon historic and structural racism. Now we each have to play a part in dismantling that system, and in reimagining the world and ourselves.

For 60 years Blanche Macdonald Centre and CurliQue Beauty Boutique have been spaces for education, for empowerment, for self-discovery. Founded by a Metis woman and now led by a woman of colour, we have always rooted ourselves in the shared values of love, compassion and inclusion. Our walls are home to a diverse community of lifelong learners engaged in the difficult, transformative and often uncomfortable work of self-growth. Through this work we seek to amplify new and unheard voices. To tell unique stories. To educate ourselves and to uplift others.

But that is no longer enough. We can and we must do more. To fight the scourge of racism in our industries and beyond. To address our own shortcomings. To make the painful journey inward to recognize our mistakes and hold ourselves accountable. Our history, our culture, our community inspire us to do better, to be better.

Today, in recognition of this moment and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, we announce the creation of the Blanche Macdonald Centre $1,000,000 Scholarship Program for Black Canadians, with $200,000 to be awarded each year over the next five years. Scholarships will cover full tuition, books and professional kits for any of the College’s Full-time Diploma Programs. 

Applications and submission details will be announced on August 28th, 2020, to Black Canadians who are Highschool graduates or 19 years of age or older.

We also commit to making continual improvements throughout the College and store. From active efforts to further diversify our Faculty by hiring more Black Instructors, to supplementing our Makeup Kits with a greater range of  darker shades and adding more Black owned beauty brands, to expanding the training for natural textured Black hair in our Hair curriculum, and in strengthening our Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination policies, we’re taking a look at every level and committed to doing better.

We have received an outpouring of messages from students, grads and faculty recounting their experiences and sharing their suggestions. We are filled with gratitude for the people who have taken time and energy to help build a better future with us.This is just the beginning of the conversation. This is our lifetime commitment and we’re honoured to be part of your journey.

The time is always right to do what is right.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

To connect, please email us at [email protected] .

In discomfort lies growth. 

Blanche Macdonald & CurliQue Beauty stands with the Black community and against injustice, hatred, racism, and oppression in all forms. Our Company was and always will be founded on inclusion and diversity, and rooted in love and compassion.

But now is the time to do more.

Our work, which centres around creativity and education, is about embracing the messy, the uncomfortable, the raw. It’s about shining light into our darkest corners and committing to difficult conversations. Now is a moment to look at ourselves and ask, how can we fight oppression and injustice every day, in everything we do? How can we amplify Black, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQ2S+ voices? How can we help dismantle white supremacy and ensure that we are doing everything in our power to eradicate racism and discrimination from every fabric of our Company’s being?

In this spirit, we acknowledge and welcome the recent feedback we have received from some students and graduates. They’ve graciously shared their reflections on their experience while attending our programs in an effort to push us to do better. This feedback addresses shortcomings in the makeup and hair curriculums, citing that they’re not as inclusive as they should be of Black skin tones and textured Black hair. 

While we have made efforts to make our curriculums as inclusive as possible, we acknowledge that there is still so much work to do when it comes to training students to properly, accurately and compassionately meet the needs of their Black clients. We’ve already started the process of making permanent changes to our Pro Hair program to better equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to care for and style textured hair. We’re committed to the same process in our Makeup programs. 

We will use this energy to galvanize us to continue to make the positive change we want to see reflected in the beauty community and beyond. 

We are committed to learning. As an institution that has always been about education, now it’s our turn to become the students. But we can’t make these changes alone. We need teachers. So we will be enlisting professional guidance from more members of the Black community in order to ensure that we are on the right track. Now it’s our turn to listen, and then reflect, and then act.

We invite discomfort. We invite the rawness. We celebrate this moment to become a better version of ourselves.

We also want to hear from you. Help us make our programs and store the best they can be.
Email us your feedback at [email protected]

We’re listening. We’re learning. And we’re committed to change.

In support and solidarity with The Black Lives Matter Movement,
Blanche Macdonald Centre & CurliQue Beauty