There is much in the media about the ongoing protests and demonstrations for #BlackLivesMatter,  the absolute brutality of George Floyd’s death and the fact that it was caught on video has mobilised people to come out and protest in the UK. Whilst support for the movement and what it stands for transcends colour there is understandably most upset and anger from those directly affected by racial disparities.

Today, at the NLS monthly business update meeting our COO Jon Chappell talked about how as a company and a profession it is in our very  DNA to fight for justice and equality for all, before sharing a very personal statement written by one of our own colleagues Deja McCoy who had put her thoughts and feelings down for all to hear.

“Due to current affairs I thought I’d say something. To stand up to injustice and equality is not to divide people. Not divide white and black only ignorant racists will see that. This is not black vs. white; this is everyone against racism and equality. It’s about being united everyone together to stand up to racism and injustice. All lives can’t matter if black lives don’t matter. For all lives to matter there must be equality. Silence on this matter will not achieve anything as it doesn’t only prove ignorance but also indicates that your part of the problem. All I could ask for is equality, justice and peace. I don’t want to be discriminated against or given less of an opportunity within work or out in the community because of the colour of my skin. Whilst there might be less obvious acts of overt racism in the UK there are more subtle forms of racial bias that are still relevant in today’s society. We must keep pushing for the complete elimination of racial bias across all institutions. It is not just about the unlawful killing of George Floyd. It’s a build-up of so much pain and oppression and everything black people face on a day to day basis and I hope we can all come together and make a change.”

We are sharing her words beyond our walls because they are important and because they come from the heart of someone who feels the impact of racism in its many forms every day.

We must all do better.

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Shaoli has been a solicitor at NLS for over two years, transitioning from a background in criminal law to full-time family law. Her experience as a Criminal Duty Solicitor has equipped her with unique skills that are invaluable in her current role.
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