CIBC celebrates Black History Month with continued support for young people
from the Black community

Support includes funding the Harry Jerome Awards and CIBC Scholarship for an outstanding young person from the Black community

TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - CIBC is celebrating Black History Month with its continued financial support of the Harry Jerome Awards and a CIBC Scholarship, as well as an opportunity to welcome Regent Park students to the bank to learn more about careers in financial services.

CIBC has made a $60,000 multi-year commitment to the Black Business and Professional Association to fund the annual Harry Jerome Awards. In addition, CIBC finances a $5,000 scholarship awarded annually to an outstanding young person from the Black community.

"CIBC has truly demonstrated a sense of corporate responsibility as well as a high level of commitment and dedication in ensuring a sustainable partnership is preserved with the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA)," said Pauline Christian, president of the BBPA. "CIBC's deliberate efforts taken to ensure diversity are commendable and laudable. BBPA considers CIBC as a key stakeholder in the Black community and is very proud of our longstanding relationship which has resulted in great success as it relates to BBPA's quest to celebrate excellence, create opportunities and invest in the future."

The presentation is being made tonight at a reception for CIBC's Black Employee Network (CBEN), one of eight Employee Affinity Networks within the bank. With 450 members across Canada, CBEN helps members achieve their full potential by providing networking forums, organizing workshops to strengthen skills, and hosting events, which recognize Black Canadians who have demonstrated leadership in their communities.

Also this month, 10 to 15 middle school students from Toronto's Regent Park will be hosted by CIBC where they will tour areas of the bank, including the trading floor, so they can learn about the many facets of a career in Canada's financial services industry.

CBEN is also conducting a number of employee awareness activities this month at CIBC facilities throughout Toronto, including a session with the Canadian Red Cross on the disaster relief situation in Haiti.

"At CIBC, we firmly believe that diversity helps create more productive workplaces and builds an environment of inclusion, which attracts and helps retain talent for competitive advantage," said Mark Hart, a CIBC vice-president of commercial mortgages and executive sponsor of CIBC's Black Employee Network. "We are proud of the financial support we bring to the Black community and the outreach initiatives we take to raise awareness of the many career options for black youth in financial services."

In 2008, CIBC welcomed the National Black MBA Association's first international chapter in Canada. Their economic and educational development initiatives continue to increase the diversity and number of successful Black Canadians in the business community.

CIBC's support for employment equity and diversity extends into the community. In 2009, CIBC donated more than $2.4 million to nearly 270 organizations that support women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and other diverse groups.

CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2009, $26.8 million was contributed through the CIBC group of companies to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada, supporting a wide variety of national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.communitymatters.cibc.com.

SOURCE Black History Month

For further information: For further information: Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-7458, doug.maybee@cibc.com


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