As the Mentorship Director for the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (BC Chapter), it’s my role to develop the mentorship program connecting Black lawyers in BC with Black/African/Caribbean/mixed-race law students at UVic, Thompson Rivers, and Allard.
Most of the students get involved through the universities’ Black Law Students Association, different university chapter groups, and UVic’s new Black Professional Leadership program.
We have such a small community of Black lawyers in BC, and it’s amazing to see a new generation of students who will soon be entering the profession.
We want to see more lawyers who look like the people they represent, and that requires true inclusion, not just diversity. That inclusion means meaningful mentorship from others in your position who have gone before and survived and are thriving on the other side.
The students in the program are keen to connect with supportive mentors. Many are the first lawyers in their families and have never met a Black lawyer or had a Black teacher (let alone a law professor).
The mentor lawyers are all so generous with their time and it’s been wonderful to work with our colleagues to support our small but mighty community.
To sign up to mentor or support the program, you can email me at Janessa@ascendionlaw.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about CABL BC: https://cabl.ca/british-columbia-chapter/