A Seat at the Table

  • February 24, 2021
  • Tiana Knight, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law, JD Candidate, 2021

Black history is not just for Black people—Black history is Canadian history.

                                                                                                   —The Honourable Jean Augustine[1]


Every February, during Black History Month, there is acknowledgement, recognition and celebration of the contributions of Afro, Caribbean and Black-Canadians in Canada and around the world. Black history is Canadian history—it is world history—and during the month of February, not only is it important to discuss the accomplishments of Black lawyers and legal professionals, but also the work that still needs to be done to create a seat at the table for everyone within the profession. 

In order to make real, tangible change, it is imperative that the legal profession takes on a broader scope of equity, inclusion and diversity. Especially in those areas where Black law students and lawyers are not represented—in law school admissions, clerkships, at the partnership level, in faculty and administration, and on the Bench. Essentially, all systems. According to the Harvard Business Review, “increasing diversity does not, by itself, increase effectiveness; what matters is how an organization harnesses diversity, and whether it is willing to reshape its power structure.”[2]