Toronto (August 27, 2020) – Blakes, BLG, Davies, Dentons, Fasken, Goodmans, Gowling WLG, McCarthy Tétrault, Osler and Torys are committed to addressing and ending anti-Black and other forms of structural racism in the legal profession. We have signed the BlackNorth Initiative Law Firm Pledge because of our individual and collective commitment to achieve the goals set out in the Pledge and to deliver on these concrete, measurable actions that will effect meaningful change.
We commend the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) for initiating the Law Firm Pledge. The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL), played an important role in our collaborative discussions. We will continue to work with BNI, CABL and other stakeholders across the legal profession to break down barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of Black people in our firms. Stronger together, we will drive progress and deliver lasting change.
BLG has had a longstanding commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. We were the first Canadian law firm to create a full time dedicated diversity and inclusion role with the goal of increasing representation, removing barriers and building an inclusive workplace. We have been long time supporters of the Black Female Lawyers Network, the Black Law Students association and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers; and have long supported pipeline initiatives, such as LSAT preparation courses, LAWS, and See Yourself Here, with the goal of improving access to legal education for underrepresented groups.
In recent months, we have committed to listening and learning about racism and in furtherance of that goal, we have shared resources on anti-Black racism, including tips on having conversations about race; held mandatory firm wide training on anti-Black racism; and our national management committee is reading about anti-Black racism and sharing their learnings with all members of the Firm.