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Leading Law Firms Sign the BlackNorth Initiative Law Firm Pledge

Toronto, ON – 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.

To read the BlackNorth Initiative - Law Firm Pledge our firms signed, click here.
About Blakes D&I initiatives

Blakes is fully committed to combating anti-Black racism and discrimination and to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace. In our continuing efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of Black lawyers, and to build on programs already in place, we are implementing the following new initiatives: internships for Black undergraduate students, anti-Black racism training, and Black@Blakes, an affinity group to provide additional support, client networking opportunities and informal mentoring for our Black legal professionals. Black@Blakes was founded by Blakes Manager of Diversity, Inclusion & Outreach Initiatives Kyle Elliott, who also serves as director of communications for CABL, and Blakes Partner Linc Rogers. Together with over 200 law firms worldwide, we have also joined the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance to support pro bono work focused on addressing systemic racism.

These initiatives are important additions to our extensive existing programs, including our Diversity & Inclusion and Indigenous Pre-Law Internships, our long-standing participation in the LAWS program and our continued support of organizations like the Black Law Students’ Association and CABL.

In 2020, Blakes was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc. for the 10th time. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends throughout our Firm, with the goal of increasing the number and success of Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), women, LGBTQ+, and diverse lawyers in the legal profession and at Blakes.

Find out more about Blakes diversity and inclusion initiatives here.

Media Contact:
Jamie Crawford-Ritchie