BLACK LIVES MATTER: The role of lawyers in tackling racism


10 February 2021 14:00 - 15:00 CET

Thank you for attending the AIJA  webinar "BLACK LIVES MATTER: The role of lawyers in tackling racism " on Wednesday, 10 February.  To mark black history month, the webinar focused on real-life examples of activism and presented concrete steps we can take as international lawyers to address racism in the legal profession and in our home countries. Below you can find the main takeaways:

Concrete steps you can take to fight racism in your workplace and communities:

✅ Use pro bono opportunities to help civil society movements to tackle discrimination and inequality through the law

✅ Partner with colleagues from different cultural and social backgrounds and levels of seniority to expose each other to different perspectives

✅ Develop mentoring partnerships with local schools and universities to create an anti-racist next generation of lawyers

✅ Promote affirmative action within firms and develop an assimilation and support culture to ensure employees settle in fast and tap into their greatest potential

✅ Create commissions within Bar Associations to bring awareness to issues black people still face, such as their limited access to the legal profession

✅ Include in the school curriculum, mandatory topics on the history of African culture and the role black communities in social, economic and political domains pertinent to the history of a country

✅ Commit to education and training on unconscious bias and take action to promote equity and not oppression. 

✅ Be vigilant and call out racist comments and behaviour in a respectful way to encourage change

 “Racism has taken root for centuries and we may not uproot it in a day, but with good will and concerted effort from EVERYONE, we can soon have it in the past.”

 Watch the recording

If you've missed the webinar, the recording is now available.



 Edmund Kwame_1

Kwame Botchway | Writer, Impact Strategist

Kwame has worked on projects and research focused on inclusive and equitable development practices across cities, in the USA and Ghana. His areas of expertise include affordable and mixed-income housing, sustainability, community and economic development, and racial equity and inclusion.

Presently, Kwame works in the non-profit sector in North-East Ohio, USA; and also spends his time consulting with mission-oriented organisations both in the US and Ghana to deepen their impact within communities.



Michael Olatokun | Research Fellow in Citizenship and the Rule of Law; Head of Public and Youth Engagement

Michael is a researcher and project manager focused on exploring the connection between rights, citizenship and education. He leads the Centre's strategic area of focus on Citizenship and the Rule of Law. He is the Coordinator of 'The Rule of Law for Citizenship Education', a nationwide programme in which young people are taught about the rule of law and human rights. As a result of the success of this work, Michael was asked to join the Solicitor General's Public Legal Education Committee.



Fernanda Machado | Attorney at Dauro Schettino Advogados

Fernanda is a Brazilian lawyer admitted to practice in the Rio de Janeiro Bar and in the Paris Bar. She has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Family Law from the University of Paris 8 and was an intern at The Hague Conference on Private International Law. Her practice includes cross-border divorce, distribution of assets, marital and child support, maintenance and alimony, issues in relation to children, gender and immigration, protection of persons with disabilities and estates and probates.



Mbula Nzuki | Principal Attorney, MN LEGAL and AIJA's Contact Person in Kenya

Mbula is a seasoned Startup and Commercial Attorney working with (and for) innovative, high-growth emerging companies and Venture Capital investors. With a strong background in Dispute Resolution (Commercial Litigation & Arbitration), Mbula has keen interest in LegalTech, TMT, Fintech, StartUp, International Business, Oil & Gas, Energy & Environmental Law practice areas.

She is a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Public International Law, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)London, Co – Founder of The Cyber Society and is Founder & Principal Attorney at MN Legal Advocates - a futuristic, client-oriented, innovative law firm based in Nairobi, Kenya.



Paola Fudakowska | Legal Adviser at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office & AIJA Past President 2020/2021

Paola is a UK qualified litigator. She advises on a wide range of public international law issues including human rights and sanctions. She is agent for the U.K. government in cases before the European Court of Human Rights. At work, she is actively involved in the Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Committee which seeks to address issues such as racism in the workplace. Paola is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion which formed her mandate as AIJA President in 2019/2020.