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Pro Bono Stories

Our partnership with Crossroads International

Crossroads International

Crossroads International logo
Educating women and young girls is critical for the advancement of societies. Not only does it help young women achieve their potential, but it also works toward breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty.At Blakes, we are honoured to work with Crossroads International, a leading Canadian volunteer agency committed to advancing equality for women and girls and eradicating poverty in some of the world’s poorest countries in Africa. For the past 60 years, Crossroads has been engaging and empowering individuals, organizations and communities through mutual learning, solidarity and collective action.

Blakes has over 20 lawyers providing pro bono services to Crossroads from several practice groups in our Montréal and Toronto offices. Since October 2020, our lawyers have spent over 220 hours advising the organization in areas such as:

  • Employment law

  • Commercial agreements

  • Privacy

  • Cybersecurity

  • Real estate/leasing

  • Governance

Blakes Partner Fabien Lanteri-Massa is on the board of directors at Crossroads. Fabien says working with the organization is especially fulfilling as it provides an opportunity to contribute practically to the achievement of the sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations, including Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality). He adds that Crossroads’ work is local, international and impactful, making a real difference to those who need it most.
The opportunity to help Crossroads address poverty and inequality motivated Associate Catherine Gagné to start working with the organization a year ago. Since then, she has regularly assisted Crossroads on employment-related matters. Catherine says her colleagues and mentors at the Firm encouraged her to get involved in pro bono work with an organization that aligns with her personal interests and values.

“By offering our legal services, we wish to provide the support that the organization needs to carry out its activities and to focus its energy and resources on its initiatives that make a real difference for women and girls,” Catherine says. She cites a review of Crossroads’ international volunteer program and procedures in the COVID-19 era as one powerful project she has contributed to.

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