Marium Tolson-MurttyCanadian International Black Women of Excellence named Marium Tolson-Murtty one of the country’s Top 100 Black Women to Watch.

Staffer honoured among 100 Black women to watch

Marium Tolson-Murtty, director of anti-racism organizational change in the Office of the Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, has been named among Canada’s Top 100 Black Women to Watch in 2022 by Canadian International Black Women of Excellence.

The organization celebrates Black women and the advancements they have made in Canada, while connecting women from various walks of life to networking opportunities, knowledge-sharing, mentorship programs, youth career counselling, and the success stories of Black women across the country.

Tolson-Murtty says her community work centres around transforming higher education and removing barriers to post-secondary education for Black and racialized students, with a focus on equity, social justice, and anti-racism — an effort she also brings to her work as a PhD student.

“It’s challenging work but necessary work,” she says, adding that the University of Windsor is poised at the forefront of Canadian post-secondary efforts in equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

CIBWE was founded by Rose Cathy Handy, who came to Canada from Cameroon in 1993 and went on to found H.E.R. Consulting & Services, which offers expertise in development, empowerment, and career-building.

Handy is also president of Bilingual Link, a company that has helped more than 30,000 bilingual candidates find work and improve their lives.

Her book, Going from Homeless to C.E.O.: The No Excuse Handbook, has received extensive media interest and her personal experiences are the impetus behind CIBWE.

Handy travelled back to Cameroon following the death of her sister and was moved by stories of her efforts to help struggling women in her region.

“It dawned on me soon after that the way to honour my sister’s life would be to give back something to the women of Cameroon on funds raised by the women of Canada,” she said.

“But it wasn’t until I examined my evolution in Canada that I realized what I could do.”

In 2016 the first CIBWE gala event took place, with proceeds supporting women and vulnerable children in Cameroon, as well as establishing a sisterhood of support, encouragement, and acknowledgement for women in Canada.

Tolson-Murtty says she is honoured and humbled to be counted among Canada’s Top 100 Black Women to Watch in 2022.

“There are so many women in the Windsor-Essex county community doing amazing things and I’m happy that Windsor women are being recognized,” she says. “This also allows me to wear my African-Canadian Underground Railroad heritage proudly on my sleeve.”