March 18, 2024
Equity Grant funds Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba Community Job Fair

Winnipeg – March 13, 2023 – Jim Ogunnoiki is a UFCW 832 member, founder of the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba (ACAM) Community Job Fair, and a 2023 UFCW Canada Equity Grant Recipient.

Jim is a member of UFCW Local 832, where he works as a security guard. Beyond his 30+ years of union activism in the labour movement, Jim is a longstanding community leader and social justice activist. He’s also the founder of a longstanding Winnipeg Job and Career Fair, which provides employment opportunities to community members who face barriers in accessing work. In 2023, through the UFCW Canada Equity Grant program,  we were proud to provide financial support for this community initiative run by Jim and members of the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba.

Jim is no stranger to facing barriers in accessing employment. He arrived in Canada as a university student and graduated in 1979, only to find challenges in securing employment. He heard similar stories from friends and community members who were newcomers, especially if they identified as a member of a visible minority or Black. “We paid taxes and did everything that was expected of us, yet we still did not get the jobs”, says Jim.

Working with the Winnipeg police department and networking with employers and existing community organizations, his faith was strong, and he built a plan to create an annual job fair that would function to close this gap. What started out as a door-to-door knocking exercise inviting newcomers to attend the job fair is now a widely known community initiative, supported with up to 35 employers, hundreds of attendees, and often on-the-spot interviews with prospective employees.

It’s no wonder that over the years Jim has not only received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal, in recognition of his extraordinary community contributions, but many other recognitions for his ongoing work to support the Afro-Caribbean community.

Earlier this month, the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba Inc. held their 22nd Community Job Fair. We congratulate Jim and the ACAM as they continue to work with community to dismantle employment barriers and to reach new milestones in support of worker rights.

Read Jim’s interview with CBC Winnipeg about the job fair.

2024 Equity Grant Applications now open

The Equity Grant Program aims to support newcomer programs, human rights initiatives, and community action projects. 2024 applications are open to UFCW members and community justice activists outside of UFCW who are currently engaged in or looking to engage in a social justice initiative. Apply today.