ROUNDTABLE OF DIVERSITY ASSOCIATIONS (RODA)
Roundtable of Diversity Associations – "RODA” (Portugese for "circle”)
In the spring of 2011, the Toronto Lawyers Association ("TLA”) and other diverse seeking lawyers associations came together to discuss the DiverseCity Report, in particular the disproportionately low number of visible minority leaders in the legal profession.
The TLA then collaborated with the diverse seeking lawyers associations in the summer of 2011 to plan the 1st Diversity Soiree in the fall.
The TLA hosted the first Diversity Soiree on November 24, 2011 in the TLA Lounge at 361 University Avenue. The wine and cheese event was a great success with about 135 people in attendance, including several distinguished Ontario judges and members from ten ethnic bar associations who jointly sponsored the event. Justice Harry LaForme, who is a member of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation and the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to sit on any appellate court in the history of Canada, was on hand to provide opening remarks. The Diversity Soiree represented the first collaboration between the TLA and these ten ethnic bar associations and the results were very promising.
Subsequent to the success of the 1st Diversity Soiree of fall, 2011, representatives of the TLA and other diversity seeking associations/organizations within the legal community met in March, 2012 with a view to establishing an ongoing relationship between associations so that they could celebrate, promote and encourage diversity within the legal profession and beyond (including the bench and law schools).
For a full history of the formation of RODA click here .
Current Participating Associations/Organizations:
- Arab Canadian Lawyers Association
- Association of Chinese Canadian Lawyers of Ontario
- Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
- Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law
- Canadian Association of Somali Lawyers
- Canadian Association of South Asian Lawyers
- Canadian Hispanic Bar Association
- Canadian Italian Advocates Organization
- Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association
- Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
- Hellenic Canadian Lawyers Association
- Indigenous Bar Association
- Iranian Canadian Legal Professionals
- Korean Canadian Lawyers Association
- Macedonian Canadian Lawyers Association
- OBA Equality Committee
- OBA Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law Section
- South Asian Bar Association
- Toronto Lawyers Association
- Women’s Law Association of Ontario
Since 2011, RODA has hosted an extremely successful annual Diversity Soiree. The focus of this event is to provide an opportunity for members of Toronto’s diverse legal community to come together to exchange ideas, contacts and to socialize in an informal and collegial atmosphere.
The 3rd annual Diversity Soiree was held on Nov 28, 2013. Opening Remarks were provided by The Hon. Mr. Justice Russell Juriansz, Court of Appeal for Ontario. A copy of Justice Juriansz' remarks can be found here.
The soiree was preceded by the historical signing ceremony of the RODA Terms of Reference by representatives from the various participating organizations.
The tradition of the Diversity Soiree had continued in years since and details of all past events are available here .