Mentoring diverse professionals: Let history be the teacher

The most difficult part of mentorship is convincing the new members of our profession that they belong.  The reason why anyone belongs anywhere is a question of history.  Whose grandfather took the train to Toronto?  Whose parents were rescued from a refugee camp?  Whose ancestors were brought here against their will?  How you arrived in the Canadian legal profession concludes with your degree in law and a place among our nation’s lawyers.  It is a story you need to tell yourself, or have someone take an interest in having you tell it.

In the October article in the Canadian Lawyer’s Accidental Mentor column, I offer two vignettes to illustrate how the failure to know about a people’s history can lead us to make them feel excluded, and how taking an interest in their history will reveal how much they belong, as much as anyone else qualified to practice law.  Click on the map of the Atlantic, for the article.

P.S.  If you’re ever visiting Liverpool, head for the International Slavery Museum.  It’ll change your perspective on the wealth of the North Atlantic forever.

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Le travail le plus difficile du mentorat, c’est de persuader les nouveaux avocats et avocates que leurs histoires personnelles ont valeur.  Que la patrimonie appartient à tous et à toutes.  Dans l’article d’octobre 2013 dans la série Accidental Mentor sur le site du Canadian Lawyer, j’offre deux exemples de ce thèse.  Si on ignore l’histoire d’un peuple, on les exclue.  Si on prend le temps d’encourager les gens à raconter leurs histoires, ils vont se persuader qu’ils ont le droit d’être parmi nous, les avocats canadiens.  Cliquez sur la carte de l’Océan atlantique, pour accéder à l’article.

P.S.  Si vous vous trouvez jamais à Liverpool, il ne faut pas manquer le International Slavery Museum.  Profitez-en pour une expérience inoubliable à propos de l’histoire de l’hémisphère atlantique.


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