Equity, diversity and inclusion have always been incredibly important to me as a person of Romanian heritage. Further, growing up in a diverse Toronto east-end neighbourhood has entrenched my appreciation for the value and positive contributions that diversity can bring to a community.
This is why it is especially saddening to hear of news, locally and from across the country, of terrible acts of racism and discrimination. The uncovering of the unmarked Indigenous burial grounds and the attack of a Muslim family in London, Ontario are two recent examples of such tragic events.
These stories highlight the importance of recognizing and appreciating the voices and stories of marginalized groups and individuals. Such appreciation begins with dialogue about these issues, which foster a sense of appreciation for diversity and inclusion.
The legal profession plays an important part in this conversation and in efforts to promote and uphold values of diversity in our society.
Our firm has formed our very own Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. Our committee’s goal is to take active steps to promote EDI within the direction, management, and day-to-day operation of the firm, and to ensure adherence to the firm’s principles and strict policy of diversity and non-discrimination.
The EDI Committee works to identify and prevent barriers and issues that may be faced by underrepresented individuals and groups within the firm, in order to maintain a work environment that is as welcoming and as inclusive as possible to everyone.
Our committee has recognized thus far a number of initiatives acknowledging and celebrating our country’s diversity. We were proud to recognize Asian Heritage Month this past May, LGBTQ+ Pride Month as well as National Indigenous History Month, and our committee looks forward to celebrating many more.
Building respect and appreciation of others is a work in progress that does not finish with the end of National Indigenous History Month or with Pride Month – it is a continual process of reflection, communicating with others and building community. I am proud to practice at a firm that shares these values and is committed to continually working towards recognizing and fostering inclusion.