WHO IS BH:
BLACK Habits, The Voice
Of The Community. BH’s mission is to be
the central source of positive communications for the black community. BH
has been operating since 1998 in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding
The BH Team is comprised of:
Bentley Springer, President:Mr. Springer has worked in management
positions within major Canadian and US financial as
well as telecommunications corporations since 1995. He has also owned and operated his own
business since 1983 and has been on the Our Image board of advisors since 1998.
Patrick Morris, VP Operations: Mr. Morris has worked in management within
large telecommunications corporations.
He has also been successfully involved in entrepreneurial businesses.
Ricardo Young, VP Business Solutions: Mr. Young graduated from York University in
Business & Economics and has worked in management in large multi-national
corporations, from banking to utilities to retail, since 1989. He has also worked as a small business
consultant since 1990.
WHAT BH DOES:
BH manages an interactive community website, www.blackhabits.com, which allows
the community to share empowering
events, classifieds, reviews, forums, community resources, news, and information
with the community.
BH produces an eNewsletter for the community containing positive information
that represent the whole community. The
distribution list has grown to 5,000 on word of mouth alone.
BH facilitates free workshops at Toronto City Hall focusing on a different
topic with different guest speakers, often from the community. Topics include
range from relationship issues to business, personal finance, and careers.
BH conducts Lymes, which exposes talent such as
singers, poets, dancers, comedians, etc. Some previous guests have
included The Kink In My Hair’s Trey Anthony and d’bi young, Dwayne Morgan, Kenny Robinson, Subliminal, and
Our Image visual artists.
BH provides solutions to small and medium sized businesses through creating
appropriate business plans and consultation.
WHAT IS OUR HISTORY:
In 1995, Bentley Springer led a group of
friends, including Patrick Morris, in self-actualization workshops,
initially through reading the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
The group found this experience to be personally rewarding and that it made a
positive impact on their lives. They discussed personal thoughts and related
them to incidents in their lives, and ‘The Black Experience’ was added to the
equation. This seemed to make the concepts jump off the page and into practice
in each of their lives.
These self-actualization workshops continued to evolved. In 1998, Bentley and Patrick
co-conducted the workshops and opened them up to others by creating an email
distribution list of about 15 individuals for invites. The first meeting in
this format was held on November 13, 1998 and approximately 12 people attended.
The main topic was how habits (good or bad) guide our lives and how much our
lives can improve once we start to choose our habits and eliminate those that
do not serve our needs. Black Habits was born!
Since then, Bentley and Patrick have refined the BH workshop experience and
often bring in guest speakers. The BH
eNewsletter was also enhanced to include positive events and opportunities in
the community. This information has
proven to be in demand and the Email distribution list grew to 5000 members
to be included on the distribution list) and attendance to the workshops has
grown to 50-100 people at Toronto City Hall.
As an example of Black Habits’ dedication to the empowerment of the
community, the workshops have continued to be free of cost.
In 2000, the BH team created and launched their 1st
Black Lyme event to support local Toronto
talent as well as create an environment where black love and empowerment could
be experienced first hand.
In March of 2001, Ricardo Young joined the
BH team to help support the growth that BH had experienced and provide a
"Business Solutions" focus to the organization. Ricardo
also provides consultation to perspective entrepreneurs as well as small
to medium sized businesses within the community. By 2001, the BH eNewsletter was
overflowing with information. To resolve
this, BH launched their 1st website to capture all this
WHAT DO WE BELIEVE:
We believe that something is happening in our
community and our global community. Something positive,
and it's happening right now, as you read this. We believe that there is a
movement and it has already started.
In the 1800's, around the world, something happened. The trading of slaves
became commonplace in society. Then eventually slavery was gradually abolished
until emancipation was declared in many of the nations around the world.
Then 1960's something happened. Integration began occurring on a city and
global level. Blacks asked or demanded,
and received greater freedoms within the nations that they lived. In the United
States it took the form of the civil rights movement. In the Caribbean, and in
Africa, colonies became independent nations.
In this new millennium, we believe that again, something is happening. This time,
it is an inward growth and the seeds have already been planted. This time, we
are not asking to be freed, or for laws to be changed or for black colonies to
become independent countries.
We are giving ourselves permission to free
ourselves, to free our minds, to be the best that we can be. To rediscover, our souls,
our spirits, our strengths, our love, and our community, and ourselves.
We are looking to share our talents, resources, ideas and our laughter. This is
a movement that not only benefits our community, but the whole global village
in which we're apart of. We will all
benefit from our abilities, vitality and our successes.
This is a transition from individual success to
communal success, from metaphorically ‘getting out of the ghetto’ to ‘getting
rid of the ghetto’, or from ‘looking good’ to ‘feeling good’. Just as nations
cannot stand alone, we cannot stand alone as individuals. We have proven that we, as individuals, can
be successful within and outside of stereotypical roles and careers. As well, the seeds of successful black
businesses across diverse industries have already been planted.
Previous generations have consistently moved
forward and improved the situation of the black community. This generation is opening their eyes and
understanding that we must be the first to support these businesses. We must be
conscientious of how we interact, how we spend, save and invest our money.
We are also looking at how we live our family
values and how we share, and this is the beginning of the journey of creating a
vibrant family life in our community. We are looking at all of our Habits
and choosing when to change our Habits to improve our lives.
BH has chosen to be a part of this new movement by utilizing all tools
at our disposal to be an integral catalyst that empowers the community.