Ontario Lawyers Lead the Way in Eliminating Systemic Racism

  • January 19, 2022

OBA’s “Not Another Decade” Initiative Attracts Broad Support

The Ontario Bar Association (OBA), a branch of the Canadian Bar Association and Ontario’s largest most diverse network of lawyers, is moving forward with an ambitious and achievable agenda to tackle inequality in the justice sector and beyond over the next 10 years.

The OBA’s Not Another Decade initiative, which introduces one key performance indicator for legal workplaces to implement each year for the next ten years, is designed to move the dial meaningfully and measurably. The legal profession has moved beyond asking why equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), to asking how, and this initiative provides the framework to support that transition.

The key performance indicator for Year 1 of the initiative will serve as a key building block for future years – to increase the number of organizations and employers who have a feasible plan to improve EDI in their workplaces.

The OBA is helping members, legal employers and other justice sector partners who join the initiative to achieve the goal, with an innovative scorecard that allows them to measure the baseline strength of their existing EDI plans, identify gaps or areas for improvement, and then take advantage of the OBA’s targeted tools and professional development programming to improve those plans so they will have the desired impact.

Making meaningful progress in society requires collaboration across sectors. That’s why the OBA is proud to partner with other leaders of Ontario’s professional associations who join us in embracing the Not Another Decade mission of relevant and achievable benchmarks.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion is a core value and continual focus for the OBA as a home for all lawyers, and I look forward to carrying on the momentum created by my predecessor, Charlene Theodore,” says OBA President Karen Perron. “Our work is far from over and it can’t be done in isolation. It’s exciting to see such an important initiative being supported by other professions.”

This partnership turns a new page in concerted, continuing, and constructive action to end inequality, bringing shared targets, clear accountability, and the collective experience and commitment of thousands of professionals to this endeavor to enact enduring change.

The Ontario Bar Association will be joined by the Ontario Nurses’ Association and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers at a Leaders Summit on Thursday, January 20 to identify common priorities, untapped opportunities, and crucial strategies for driving equality, diversity and inclusion across three dynamic sectors devoted to public service.

“Lawyers have been among the central characters in every chapter of society’s progress – from equal education and equal voting rights to marriage equality and free speech – and now we are focusing on the next chapter in our own story of progress. We are equally proud that key leaders in associations across the province are joining us in embracing this important work,” says Theodore, the OBA’s immediate past-president.

About the Ontario Bar Association

Established in 1907, the OBA is the largest and most diverse voluntary legal association in Ontario representing over 16,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The OBA provides continuing professional development and advocates for improvements to the law in the interests of the profession and public.

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For more information:

Michael Speers                                

Media & Communications Specialist