April 1, 2021
A statement from UCalgary Law on the 'My Experience Project'
Earlier this week, the Law Society of Alberta released the results of its “My Experience Project,” which gave BIPOC lawyers and law students the opportunity to speak about their experiences with discrimination, racism and exclusion within and from the legal profession in Alberta. While some of the stories are difficult and painful to read and hear, we know that they are true, and that we need to do better.
Our goal in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary is to ensure that all students feel welcome, supported and are successful, both in the law school environment and in the legal profession. These stories, and the stories we have heard over the past year from our current students and our alumni, show that there is room for improvement. We are continuously working to improve our admissions processes to be more equitable and inclusive for all applicants. We have incorporated anti-racism and anti-discrimination training into our curriculum, and have provided similar training to our faculty and staff. A new Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee within the law school is developing ways to support students, faculty and staff who may be subject to discrimination, harassment, or inequality on a range of grounds, supporting EDI training and workshops for faculty, staff and students, including how to deal with EDI issues in the classroom, and addressing bullying and retaliation with respect to discrimination within the Faculty of Law and promoting a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, and respect.
We are so proud of our students who have stepped up with calls to action to make our law school a more welcoming and inclusive place for all students, who are not afraid to call us out when we make mistakes. Their bravery inspires us and our drive to make the necessary changes.
We know that we still have a lot of work to do, and that the work will never be done. We want to learn from past mistakes and missteps. Our doors are open, to listen to our students and alumni, and to learn how we can do better, to lead the way on creating a more equitable and inclusive legal profession in Alberta, across Canada, and around the world.