What is Legal Aid Ontario’s Racialized Communities Strategy?
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has committed to developing a multi-year, multi-faceted, province-wide racialized communities strategy that will build upon the services and supports that LAO already has in place.
This strategy will enable LAO to:
- better identify and prioritize the complex intersecting needs of racialized clients and ensure they can access a range of both legal and social services.
- expand access to legal services.
- develop policies, protocols and processes to reflect a better understanding of how being racialized impacts a client’s experience in the legal system.
- provide more supports to service providers.
- create a sustainable plan to ensure LAO staff are knowledgable and educated in the experiences of racialized communities and how it impacts clients, and provide up-to-date resources to assist in their work.
LAO will be engaging over the coming months in preliminary meetings and engagement sessions with a wide array of justice and social service partners, communities, lawyers, community service providers, legal clinics, peer networks, professional associations, government agencies and LAO staff.
LAO will produce a consultation paper to serve as a starting point for continued province-wide consultations.
During the first year of the initiative, we hope to identify opportunities for short-term program enhancements to benefit this particularly vulnerable client group.
Moya Teklu is Policy Counsel at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) where she is the (acting) lead of LAO’s Racialized Communities Strategy (RCS). Moya is also responsible for leading the development and implementation of LAO’s service plan to deliver clinic law services to members of Ontario’s Black communities. This includes providing staff support to the Board of Directors of the newly‑formed Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC).
Prior to joining LAO, Moya worked as a Human Rights & Health Equity Specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital and Policy & Research Lawyer at the African Canadian Legal Clinic (ACLC).
Moya has years of experience developing training, policies, and initiatives aimed at identifying and eliminating discrimination. She has developed and delivered anti-oppression and cultural competence training to a number of organizations, including Legal Aid Ontario, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Society of Adjudicators and Regulators. She has helped draft policies related to anti-racism, accommodation, and equitable employment and hiring practices. She has also conducted numerous workplace investigations to ensure compliance with the Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Moya has participated in proceedings before the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and the Toronto Police Services Board.
For more information
For more information or to request a meeting or provide written feedback, please contact:
Moya Teklu, Policy Counsel