Critical Conversations about Systemic Racism and Implicit Bias in Law and Canadian Society

Coming in 2021

Conversation #2:      Racism, Implicit Bias and the Justice System
Conversation #3:      Systemic Racism – Everyday Impacts      

Conversation #1:      Black Lives Matter: Canadian Perspectives
Dec 10, 2020  from Noon to 2 pm

We may have thought the situation was much better in Canada than in the U.S., but systemic racism exists here too.  How do we as Canadians respond to the killing of George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and many others?  What has the Canadian experience for BIPOC been? How has our history shaped our culture?  What does it all mean for us as lawyers and citizens? 

Moderator Zilla Jones will lead this conversation with Laurelle Harris, Stacey Soldier and Omri Plotnick.  

Series Outline

The killing of George Floyd last summer brought broader attention to the Black Lives Matter movement and acted as a tipping point.  If we thought things were better in Canada than in the U.S., we now understand this isn’t the case.  Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) have experienced systemic racism and its profoundly harmful effects in Canada as well as in the U.S. since the founding of both countries.  This series of critical conversations will provide a forum for an open and respectful dialogue about the events of the last months, the Canadian context for the BLM movement, current issues in policing and the justice system as well as the insidious ways in which systemic racism manifests itself in our workplaces and everyday lives. 

The series of three conversations will provide you with an opportunity to hear diverse perspectives and ask questions of the panelists in the spirit of gaining understanding.  The conversations will require us all to step into uncomfortable territory so that we can recognize our own biases and begin to take steps toward changing how we think and act.  As lawyers, how do we navigate through the various aspects of our work (with colleagues, clients, decision-makers) in a diverse society? 

The intention for this series is to create a safe and non-judgemental space for an open, honest and respectful dialogue with the purpose of learning about the issues from the perspectives of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.  There will be significant time allotted for questions following each conversation.