Hxouse, the Toronto-based skills incubator launched by The Weeknd, his creative director La Mar Taylor and Influencers PR’s Ahmed Ismail, announced that TD Bank Group has become a founding sponsor of its leadership and entrepreneurial development initiative, Black Hxouse. The initiative aims to empower BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) individuals with mentorship, tools, learning and networking opportunities, according to the announcement.

The announcement comes the morning after The Weeknd performed and won two major awards at the MTV VMAs, although he said he was uncomfortable accepting trophies at such a time of social unrest.

“It’s really hard for me to celebrate right now and enjoy this moment, so I’m just going to say justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor,” he said solemnly.

Since June, The Weeknd has donated or raised a total of more than $2.15 million to multiple charities including coronavirus relief, Black Lives Matter, the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, National Bail Out, TikTok’s Equal Justice Initiative and relief efforts for the devastating explosion in Lebanon.

Black Hxouse will direct its focus on creating economic opportunities for the BIPOC community through exclusive programs, and through supporting existing audiences and community groups by providing services and products dedicated to advancing the success and betterment of the lives of BIPOC individuals.

“TD has a long-standing commitment to supporting both innovation and diversity and we are excited to collaborate with Black Hxouse as part of our continued investment in our customers, colleagues and communities. We want to help build an economy where everyone can advance their careers and thrive professionally and in their personal lives. With Black Hxouse, we will explore opportunities to elevate and empower people to succeed and grow and focus on building an even more inclusive bank and society,” says Claudette McGowan, Global Executive Officer, Cybersecurity, TD.

Since 2018, Hxouse has been convening public-facing conversations, workshops, and exclusive internal programming for both global and local communities.

“TD’s full support and commitment to the long-term growth and development of vulnerable communities was sincere and evident from the beginning. I commend TD for not staying on the sidelines but instead being an example of leadership going headfirst in reaching out to talent directly through our platform that corporate Canada and Bay Street have missed for far too long,” says Ahmed Ismail, Co-Founder of Hxouse.