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Committed to Diversity: Blakes Launches Black@Blakes

September 18, 2020

Toronto - Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP (Blakes), one of Canada’s leading law firms, is launching Black@Blakes, an internal network of Black legal professionals dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion and fostering the long-term career success of its members. Black@Blakes is the latest addition to our roster of programs and initiatives designed to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal industry and in our Firm.

“Blakes has a deep and long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion – D&I is not an idea on the perimeter of our business – it’s a core guiding principle,” says Bryson Stokes, Firm Managing Partner at Blakes. “While we have made progress, we are committed to doing more. Thoughtful action today can help strengthen connections and create a more inclusive culture – that is our vision with Black@Blakes.”

Kyle Elliott, Blakes Manager of Diversity, Inclusion & Outreach Initiatives, who chairs the group, agrees: “Formalizing this initiative brings us closer to our goals of ensuring our members feel recognized, supported and empowered to succeed. It is an important step in furthering our diversity and inclusion strategy and one that makes the Blakes community stronger.”

As part of the Firm's commitment to recruiting, retaining and promoting top legal talent, Black@Blakes serves as a forum for its members to exchange ideas, promote relationship-building and encourage mentorship. The group will advance professional and client networking opportunities while engaging with issues that impact our communities. Participation is voluntary and events hosted by Black@Blakes are open to all legal professionals at Blakes who are interested in contributing to a supportive and inclusive working environment.  
Blakes is committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace and industry. In recent years, the Firm has repeatedly been recognized by a leading publication as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers and one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. We work with leading diversity and inclusion organizations across Canada to make effective, sustainable change – including the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and  the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network, among others.