Being a person of colour, it’s really important for me to be able to see the contributions made by people that look just like me in the media. Be it in the world of business, medicine, or arts and entertainment – I want the opportunity to see positive images of black people. Lord knows we are inundated with horrific, negative images.
I’m not the only one that feels this way. Camille Dundas, a seasoned media expert, producer and journalist, is also determined to create a more diverse narrative.
She, along with her husband Roger, created byblacks.com, a website that features entrepreneurs, cultural events, and is also a directory for black businesses.
Camille also took her desire to represent the work of Black Canadians one step further when she orchestrated a monumental photo shoot this past summer to spotlight 30 women of colour in the media. #girlboss
It warms my heart to see how she unselfishly pays homage, as well as acknowledges the contributions made. That is why Camille is the latest person to be featured on Words With Michelle.
Keep reading to find out more about this dynamo!
Hometown: Born in Trinidad & Tobago, grew up between Toronto and St Lucia. Currently lives in Whitby, ON with husband and 2 kids
Astrological Sign: Aquarius
First media job: At 14 years old, Camille wrote for a weekly Caribbean newspaper called One Caribbean.
Day job: Producer of Your Morning – a television morning show on CTV
What is byblacks.com?
ByBlacks.com is the number one Black online magazine in Canada. We cover a lot of black film and plays, and do profiles of up and coming or successful entrepreneurs. We also have an expert advice section with topics ranging from legal to finances, beauty and fitness to parenting. ByBlacks.com is also a great place to find black businesses. We have a business directory and it’s free to list your business or service.
Why did you create the site?
The idea for the site actually started as a business directory. My husband Roger was meeting so many black business owners who didn’t have a website, so he wanted to offer them all a space to promote their businesses for free or minimal cost. Then we realized we have to give people a reason to come back to this site. That’s where the business profiles came in and we quickly expanded to cover all kinds of topics. And it was natural for me to step in as editor in chief, given my journalistic background.
It was clear to me that people (myself included) are hungry for content that speaks to them, reflects their lives and is informative yet entertaining. Black people, especially right now, are looking to have as much positivity as possible shown about their community. What really motivated us to keep going is knowing that we were filling a need – there just are not enough media outlets focusing on positive Black Canadian stories.
You’ve worked as a media expert and news writer for many years. What were some of your favourite stories that you created or worked on?
When I was working at CTV Canada AM, I helped produce a panel about natural hair and the difficulties black women face when they decide to go natural. It was the first time the station had ever taken on the topic or any topic actually having to do specifically with black women, and the number of responses on social media blew my mind. Of course there were negative ones but the number of black women who wrote in thanking us for highlighting their perspective was really rewarding.
This past summer, Camille took on the tough, but rewarding task of organizing almost 30 women of colour in media, to come together for a photo shoot. It was her way of saying thanks to those who came before her, and those who are on the rise.
What was it like organizing the Black Women in Media event?
It was incredibly difficult getting that many busy women with different schedules together on the same day at the same time. So unfortunately not everyone was there. But it was one of those magical moments where all you feel is love and power. Standing there among my mentors and my peers was almost surreal. I thought to myself, Camille 7 years ago you were jobless and at times totally hopeless. Look at you now girl.
You wear a lot of hats. How are you able to ensure “work/life balance?”
There is no such thing. You try to do as much work as you can without feeling guilty about not spending every waking moment with your kids. For me though, it’s important for my kids to see me doing the work that I love. I want them to see what passion looks like, what hard work and dedication looks like. But when your 5 year old says “mom put your phone away and go to sleep” you better listen.
With my marriage it helps that we do so much of our work together so we kinda have to spend time with each other. But you have to watch that too, so we are very aware of carving out time where we don’t talk about business.
Loving that last answer!
I love that Camille admitted that sometimes work/life is unbalanced, but that doesnt’ take away from her dedication to showcase the offerings of others.
Keep doing what you and thanks for the chat!
To find out more about Camille, please visit the following sites: