As Black History Month rounds to a close, I would like to emphasize the importance of acknowledging that focusing on Black history is not a one month a year thing, and it is not just Black history, it is SiMPly history. The more we view the historic acts of people of colour the more we can grow as a person, a community, and as a country.
Racism persists today and we must continue to grow to do to our part to bring it to an end. I have linked our video post about racism and Black Lives Matter if you would like to view it again.
How Do We Keep the Momentum Going to Impact Real Change for People of Colour?
Education needs to happen to encourage real change. The concept of white privilege needs to be expanded and be acknowledged to effectively encourage ongoing change. Direction needs to be provided so white people can understand and be educated on how to help create change to a system that they have benefited from. I am asking that you take a step towards ending racism in any way you can.
In a post on Instagram by Mr. Emmanuel Acho, Mr. Acho addresses questions about rioting, using the “N” word, and on his experience of being a Black man, in a short episode of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”. Emmanuel Acho now has a New York Times Bestselling book, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, which can be found on Amazon.ca
Here at SMP Law, we are a diverse group. We have Black people, Spanish people, Filipino people and white people, and we ensure our interim students are representative of our diverse community that we serve.
Here is a reminder of what I am asking you to do:
– If you are a person of colour – RAISE AND AMPLIFY your voice. Use your social media platforms or any platforms you have available to you to educate and inform your family and friends that are white on how they can utilize their white privilege to breakdown systemic racism.
– If you are a white person – RAISE AND AMPLIFY THE VOICE OF PEOPLE OF COLOUR – educate yourself on the many resources available on how to support the community of people of colour. Donate, volunteer, teach others about barriers to success for people of colour and be more than “not racist” but be “anti-racist” by confronting racial injustices even when it is uncomfortable. Remember that even if your life has been hard, it has not been hard due to the colour of your skin. Recognize every day that your white privilege has placed you in a position where you cannot possibly understand racism in the way a person of colour does – this acknowledgment alone is a huge start.
When I decided to practice law, I wanted to ensure my law firm was as diverse as the legal issues I would be addressing in my practice. SMP Law’s diversity is our greatest strength.
When you are in a cultural diverse environment you are forced to LISTEN to each other. The process of listening allows for a deeper understanding of our clients as well as allows SMP Law to be better legal advocates for our clients, as knowing and understanding the law is one part of the partnership with SMP Law, the other part is knowing and understanding the person that you call a client, and the client calls his or her lawyer, is actual a human being, no matter what colour that person maybe.
This insight is not taught in law school or in any legal text, it is a skill that is learned through practice with the understanding that every human being is equal, and should be treated that way, in all areas of life, not just in law.
Be kind to each other.