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London Graduates

Black History Month Events

We are delighted to be running five Black History Month events this October. It is important to cover a range of topics in Black History Month – from race, identity and belonging for Black Brits, to how white people and other people of colour can challenge racism, and how to thrive through uncertainty and advocate for change.

We will be interviewing and hosting renowned speakers on these topics, as well as providing an insight into how Clifford Chance are advocating for change and supporting the black community, both inside and outside of the Firm.

A view from Afua Hirsch on race, identity and belonging

Afua Hirsch is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. She is a columnist for the Guardian, and appears regularly on the BBC, Sky News and CNN. 'Brit(ish)' is her first book and was awarded a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction.

Date: 8 October 2020
Time: 1-2pm
Registration process: Open to all

Diversity and equality in the criminal justice system

A joint event by Clifford Chance and Unlocked Graduates focusing on diversity and inequality through the legal system including law, policing, and prison. This event hopes to provide an insight into racial inequality across the legal system and consider how diversifying the workforce can improve outcomes with a keynote talk from justice reform campaigner Ashish Prashar. This will be followed by a panel of Criminal Justice professionals chaired by Dr Stephen Akpabio-Klementowski.

Date: 12 October 2020
Time: 12-2pm
Registration process: Open to all

A view from June Sarpong on the power of privilege and how white people can challenge racism

June is currently the Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC, having been appointed in the role in 2019. Acting as the broadcasting giants’ first ever Diversity Director, her role is to increase representation throughout the company and ensure that the BBC’s content reflects the public they serve.

Date: 15 October 2020
Time: 11am-12pm
Registration process: Open to all

Thriving through Uncertainty

2020 has been a tumultuous year, and one that has had a big impact on the black community. We'll be exploring how to thrive through uncertainty, be an activist, and bring about improvements to the workplace and our society. We'll hear from speakers from a range of professional backgrounds about the various ways in which they advocate for what they believe in. There will be presentations and discussions with:

  • Ore & Chelsea – co-authors of Taking up space
  • Yomi Adegoke – co-author of Slay in your lane: the black girl bible
  • Toni Fola-Alade – Clifford Chance Future Trainee, on the topic of advocating for change in society
  • Clifford Chance partners and co-chairs of our REACH network, on advocating for change within your workplace and advancing your career

The event will also end with a celebration of black culture, with three break out rooms:

  • Poetry readings with Sophia Thakur
  • Painting lesson with an artist
  • DJ room

Date: 22 October 2020
Time: 4-6.45pm
Registration process: Open to all

Advocating for Race, Equality And Cultural Heritage

An insight into the evolution, strategy and aims of our internal Race Equality and Celebrating Heritage network and the impact made so far.

Date: 30 October 2020
Time: 2-3pm
Registration process: Open to all

Hephzibah Adeosun

Trainee, REACH Trainee representative

Clifford Chance is committed to recruiting a diverse pool of talent and ensuring the retention of that talent is fundamental. As the REACH trainee representative, part of my role is to liaise with the trainee population to ensure that they are included and represented in all the initiatives organised by the network. I also sit on the career development and raising awareness pillars of the steering committee. There is no doubt that the best version of myself is my authentic self. As a black woman, I am aware that I am hyper visible in the work environment, therefore it is vital for me to feel comfortable with expressing myself and maintaining my identity in that setting. One of the key objectives of the REACH Network is to nurture an environment that removes any barriers to this being possible by raising awareness of the cultural heritage of our diverse community.

I am looking forward to this year's Black History Month events because I think they will educate, inspire and uplift attendees, particularly in light of the recent events and the resurgence of the black lives matter movement.

Yasmina Kone

Graduate Recruitment Specialist and REACH Committee Member

Diversity has always been important to me, and I've always been interested in driving social change. As a Philosophy and Sociology graduate, I have always analysed social structures, and thought about how we can make the world a more equitable and just place. I worked at a diversity company prior to joining Clifford Chance, and always respected Clifford Chance for leading conversations about diversity in the legal industry, and acting on them too.

I am part of our REACH committee and sit on the career development pillar. I am responsible for recruiting diverse candidates at a graduate level, but I also wanted to be involved in making sure that we were providing the optimum environment for everyone to thrive.

I'm delighted to have curated a series of Black History Month events that I hope will be inspiring, empowering, and give an insight into how we can all advocate for racial equality at work, and in the wider world.

Ethnicity, Diversity and Inclusion

To be the global law firm of choice, we believe the rich variety of ethnicity, culture and heritage across the globe should be reflected in the population of our firm. We believe our current and future success is dependent upon us continuing to build and nurture deeper roots in the communities in which we operate. Find out more about the opportunities available to engage with our global community, including our 'Celebrating Culture' podcasts available for you to listen to via our Clifford Chance Podcast channel.

Find out more