University of O alumnus who co-founded BLSA’s civil law chapter creates scholarship for black law students

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Ruth Bansoba graduated in 2020 from the Civil Law program. Image: Ruth Bansoba / Supplied

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Ruth Bansoba aims to motivate black youth to consider a career in the justice system

The University of Ottawa announced on January 29 that a new scholarship for black law students will be available for the 2020-21 academic year. Created by Ruth Bansoba, a 2020 graduate of the Civil Law program, the scholarship aims to help black students start their careers in law.

Bansoba, was a founding member of the Civil Law Section of the Association of Black Law Students (BLSA). By creating the scholarship, she hopes to motivate black youth to consider a career in the justice system.

“Growing up in Quebec, I never saw black lawyers,” she says. “And once I was in law school, there were a few black students, but in second year the number had been cut in half.”

His motivation behind the scholarships echoes the reasoning behind founding the BLSA during his time at U of O.

“I realized that there was a major problem [with Black students dropping out], maybe they don’t feel comfortable or welcome in this area, ”she said.

“My friends and I got together and founded the BLSA chapter in the civil law section. One of the things we have done is the mentoring program, where second- and third-year black students can mentor black freshman students and support them throughout their judicial careers.

Bansoba explained the requirements for applicants, saying the scholarship “is open to students who identify as black, demonstrate financial need and are somehow involved in the black community.”

The scholarship is funded in part by Bansoba as well as by four lawyers; Alexandre Bien-Aimé, Sabine Uwitonze, Joshua Sally-Harrington, Safiatou Diallo and will reward a student with $ 1,000.

However, Bansoba said they “hope to increase the number and number of students over the next four or five years.”

Applications close on March 31 for students admitted to the Faculty of Law, Civil Law section for September 2021.

New scholarship available for common law students

The Common Law School also announced the creation of its own entrance scholarship for black law students on February 1.

The Black Student Law Scholarship is open to self-identified Black students who have demonstrated financial need and have helped reduce discrimination for Black Canadians.

Adam Dodek, the dean of the common law faculty, wrote in an email to Fulcrum that the stock market must help fight “systemic discrimination” in our society.

“We created this scholarship in response to the heightened awareness over the past year of the need to address systemic discrimination in all aspects of our society, including the legal profession, academia and faculties. right, ”he said.

“For many years, our holistic admissions process has encouraged applicants from a variety of backgrounds. To ensure that the student body represents the fullest possible range of social, economic, ethnic and cultural perspectives in our society, the admissions committee takes into account many factors in assessing applicants.

According to the Common Law School’s website, the Black Law Student Entrance Bursary “will provide $ 10,000 to up to five newly admitted black law students each year.”

“The scholarships will be renewable for $ 5,000 in each of the second and third years of law school for a total value of $ 20,000 for each student.”

Civil Law and Common Law Scholarships seek continuous donations and nominations.

Applications are available in uOzone under “Online scholarships and scholarships”.

Donations for the Civil Law Scholarship and the Common Law Scholarship are open to anyone wishing to contribute.


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