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    A Statement About the Leadership and Future of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter

    By Birgit Smith Burton
    Chair, AFP Global Board of Directors

    Earlier this year, Nneka Allen, Olumide (Mide) Akerewusi, and Múthoní Karíukí, former board members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Toronto Chapter (GTC) Board, shared publicly their experiences of anti-Black racism while volunteering with the chapter.

    This has led to conversations around racism in the fundraising sector and important actions within the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP Global) and its chapters.

    On May 15, 2023, the current board of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter resigned. In line with the chapter’s bylaws, the outgoing board voted to give me, as AFP Global Board Chair, the authority to appoint an interim AFP GTC board to lead the chapter for the next eighteen months. 
    I am pleased to announce that I have asked Mide Akerewusi, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Econ), CSR-P, CDEP, to serve as interim president of the AFP GTC, and he has accepted. Mide is founder and CEO of AgentsC Inc., an international fundraising and social impact consulting company based in Toronto. He is an accomplished fundraiser with almost 30 years of experience building successful fundraising teams and leading revenue generating campaigns and programs around the world.

    In his post accepting the role, Mide said, “We must build a new culture, and a new interpretation of what it means to be of service to fundraisers. In our conversations, Birgit and I envisage an AFP that sets the example and builds a blueprint for transformation… I am not backing away from my demand for justice. If anything, as interim chair, I am doubling up on my expectation for AFP to do better, be better and set powerful examples of equity to the local and global fundraising community.”

    Mide and I will work together to establish a new AFP GTC interim board, dedicated to fairly and equitably serving the chapter membership and all of Toronto’s fundraisers.

    On a global level, I am working with AFP Global leadership, President and CEO, Mike Geiger, and Head of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access, Othalene Lawrence, M.S., CDE, to conduct a thorough review of AFP’s processes and create a formal system for acknowledging and reporting discriminatory member behavior going forward.

    Learn more about the anti-Black racism experienced by the AFP GTC board members:

    Birgit Smith Burton
    Chair, AFP Global Board of Directors
    Founder and Executive Director, African American Development Officers (AADO) Network
    (pictured with AFP GTC Interim Chapter President Olumide (Mide) Akerewusi, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Econ), CSR-P, CDEP)