16 February 2024

Diversity and inclusion in the legal profession: A personal perspective

Drawing on her own experience, Tameka Davis, Partner and Chair of Conyers’ Global Diversity and Inclusion Committee, outlines her thoughts on D&I priorities

As someone who grew up in Jamaica, I was only confronted with racism when I left the comfort of home. At 16, I was awarded a full academic scholarship to represent Jamaica at the United World College in Flekke, Norway. The college is a safe space for international students with promise. Its very ethos and reason for existing was and remains to be cultivating peace and a sustainable future by uniting students from different cultures through education. It was only when I ventured off campus and into the real world that I became aware of my “otherness”, and even then, my experience in Norway was one of subtle curiosity rather than racism. I came to know a much more jarring experience later, however, when I began to navigate more racially hostile environments. Absent what often felt like a herculean effort, it was exceedingly difficult to thrive in that terrain. Diversity and inclusion initiatives are about implementing strategies to avoid that experience.

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