The Diversity Committee is a standing subcommittee of the CCLA Membership Committee, tasked with identifying and determining the overall
approach that the CCLA should adopt to ensure it is inclusive of the
entire legal community that the CCLA serves.
The purpose of the CCLA Diversity Committee is to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion in the CCLA by enabling the values and principles of equality and equity in its organizational structure, policies, programs, and services.
To read the full mandate of the Diversity Committee, please click here.
Inclusive Language Guide
Please click here to read the CCLA Inclusive Language Guide prepared by the committee.
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These include but are not limited to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, disability or socio-economic status.
Diversity also encompasses areas of practice, models of practice, and years of practice.
It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and appreciating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within our legal community.
The term inclusion is used to describe the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity. Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. Inclusion requires the identification and removal of barriers that inhibit the diverse legal community's participation with, and contributions to, the CCLA. Inclusion puts the concept and practice of diversity into action by creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection within the CCLA.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion are about capturing the uniqueness of the individual and about creating an environment within the CCLA that reflects the diversity of the Ottawa bar. It is an environment that values and respects individuals for their talents, skills and abilities to the benefit of the legal community and the communities we serve.
Committee members are available by phone or email to discuss matters pertaining to Diversity. You can learn more about the committee chairs and reach them by using the contact information below:
|Asfrah Syed-Emond (Chair), Syed-Emond Lawyers
|David Ang (Vice Chair), Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP
|Rebecca Bromwich, Carleton University
|Natasha Chettiar, Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP
|Marcia Green, Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP
|Virginia Lomax, Native Women's Association of Canada
|Pam MacEachern, Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP
|Kiara Paylor, Federations of Law Societies of Canada
|Fiona E.S. Porter, Intact Insurance Company
|Mark Seebaran, Public Prosecution Service of Canada
Asfrah practices in the field of personal injury litigation and wills and estates in a boutique law practice with her spouse. She is also a part time professor at Algonquin College in the paralegal and law clerk programs.
Asfrah was called to the Bar of Ontario in February 2000. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She completed her B.A. Honours degree in English Literature at the University of Ottawa.
While at law school, Asfrah was one of the founding members of the On Line Law Library and Information System (OLLIS). The OLLIS project involved the creation of the first comprehensive electronic law library in the world for law students with print disabilities. Asfrah’s work within the disability community continues today as many of her clients have suffered serious and permanent impairments and/or catastrophic injuries.
Asfrah speaks English, French, Punjabi and Urdu. She also reads Arabic. Her client base has a significant amount of visible minorities, and therefore, she is accustomed to dealing with issues surrounding diversity within the legal practice.
In her spare time on the weekends, you can find Asfrah at the Ottawa Farmer's Market [Landsdowne Park & Westboro locations] . She is actively involved in her spouse's woodworking pursuits. She manages sales and marketing and contributes to the artistic design of pieces.
David was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2016. He is an associate lawyer at Nelligan O’Brien Payne and is a member of the Family Law Group.
David mainly practices family law, and he has a particular interest in same-sex and LGBT family law issues.
Outside of work, he is active member of the CCLA. Besides the Diversity Committee, David is also part of the CCLA’s Annual Institute of Family Law planning committee. David is a member of the A2Justice (A2J) Coalition, a group advocating for increased access to justice and decreased barriers to the legal profession. During law school, he competed in the Walsh Family Law Moot and was an executive member of the uOttawa OUTLaw student group.
David practices in English, and he also speaks conversational French and Cantonese.
Helpful Links and Resources
Members of the Diversity Committee, Orange Shirt Day Initiative, September 29, 2017.