Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at UCalgary Law

A hand swirled with many different colours of paint

UCalgary Law's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee was formed in August 2020 to work to increase and improve equity, equality, diversity and inclusion at the law school, and in the Faculty’s interactions with the legal profession. We will do this by:

1. Supporting and aligning with the University of Calgary’s Eyes High Strategy and the Human Resources’ Respect in the Workplace Program, and with the mandate of the University of Calgary’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure. 

2. Developing and implementing a statement of commitment and policies that promote equality, equity, diversity, inclusion and respect. 

3. Requiring that all Faculty of Law policies and governance (e.g., admissions policy, curriculum review, budget policy, hiring, promotion and merit, awards and honours, retention, and strategic planning) be reviewed through an EDI lens. 

4. Supporting faculty, staff and students who may be subject to discrimination, harassment, or inequality on a range of grounds (e.g., sex, race, Indigeneity, religion, disability, sexual/gender identity, or an intersection amongst these grounds). 

  • The Committee will provide both proactive supports (e.g., education, speaking initiatives, mentorship), and timely support when issues arise (e.g., issue statements of support or solidarity). 
  • The Committee will provide support for student groups aimed at EDI issues. 

5. Supporting EDI training and workshops for faculty, staff and students, including anti-racism/oppression training, sessions for professors/instructors on how to deal with EDI issues in the classroom. 

6. Supporting faculty to integrate EDI into their research, and their teaching and learning. 

7. Liaising with the Faculty of Law’s Indigenous Strategy and Student Support Committee. 

8. Disavowing discrimination in all of its forms, and amplifying diverse and different voices where appropriate.  

9. Addressing bullying and retaliation with respect to discrimination within the Faculty of Law and promoting a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, and respect.  

The Committee is made up of faculty members, staff and current students, and meets on a monthly basis.

Committee Members (2023-2024)

  • Kellinde Wrightson, Associate Professor & Director, Foreign Trained Lawyers Program, Chair
  • Evaristus Oshionebo, Associate Dean, Academic, Co-Chair
  • Howard Kislowicz, Associate Professor
  • Catherine Valestuk, Assistant Dean, Recruiting & Admissions
  • Ali Abel, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications
  • Andrew Showalter, Coordinator, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation
  • Hasti Pourriahi, 3L student, Gender & Equality Law Association
  • Mohamed Barre, 1L student, Black Law Students Association
  • Alex Sinclair, 2L student, Indigenous Law Students Association
  • Safaa Al-Khaz’Aly, 2L student, Students' Union Faculty of Law representative
  • Sanjampreet Singh, graduate student representative
  • Nkaiso Akpan, Foreign Trained Lawyers Program student representative

UCalgary Law EDI Events

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion News

Excellence recognized: UCalgary’s Black Law Students’ Association honoured nationally

Chapter wins award at 33rd National Black Law Students Association Conference

A Seat at the Table

Alumni Althea Francis’ Law Career Inspires Hope

New course examines how Canadian law and public policy impact lives of people with disabilities

Students encouraged to think about legal issues from different perspective

Resources and Links

Student Legal Assistance (SLA) is a pro-bono legal clinic that provides legal information and representation to low-income residents of Calgary and the surrounding area. 

The Public Interest Law Clinic engages in legislative reform and strategic litigation to help our public interest clients influence the direction of public law and policy.

The BSEAP is an optional opportunity for applicants who self identify as being of Black African descent, or multi-racial students identifying with their Black ancestry that provides space and visibility for Black applicants to speak about their lived experience and the barriers they have overcome.  

The Faculty of Law acknowledges and respects the rich diversity of our learners, their communities, their aspirations, and their cultures and traditions. Our Indigenous admissions review process works to ensure equitable access and the successful participation of Indigenous learners.

We are offering a free LSAT preparation course for high potential, low-income undergraduate students and recent university grads. The program, which runs from May to August, will prepare students to write the October LSAT and to apply to a law school in the Fall admissions cycle. 

Provided by the UCalgary Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people face significant barriers to access justice, which reinforce their ongoing social and systemic marginalization. This guide aims to provide lawyers with the information and resources they need to better serve their trans, non-binary and gender diverse clients, and to create a more inclusive practice for clients and colleagues alike. 

Download a list of support services available outside of UCalgary.