The Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (“CHBA”) is an organization with approximately 230 members. Our membership includes lawyers, internationally trained lawyers, National Committee on Accreditation (“NCA”) candidates, paralegals, law and articling students, and Legal Practice Program (“LPP”) candidates.
Our primary focus is to advocate for and support Latin American and Hispanic people in the legal profession across Canada. We also collaborate with other equity-seeking groups within the profession and the broader Latin American/Hispanic community on initiatives that aim to celebrate diversity and improve inclusion.
The CHBA is currently working on two very important and related efforts which we would like to share. First, the National Student Drive and the related launch of our first ever law student chapter at the University of Ottawa (“CHBA uOttawa Chapter”). The other is increasing our membership and presence across Canada to strengthen our ability to advocate for our members and other equity-seeking communities.
On October 14, 2021, the CHBA uOttawa Chapter held its inaugural event and it has been working with law students and new lawyers from across the country to invite other Latin American/Hispanic law students to join the CHBA and create a national network of Latin American/Hispanic law students. The National Student Drive aims to increase opportunities for mentorship and for students to build relationships with each other and established CHBA members that will support them throughout their careers.
The national expansion effort seeks to strengthen the CHBA’s presence outside of Ontario. While the CHBA certainly has members from outside of Ontario, it needs to increase its presence in other provinces to advocate more effectively for its members everywhere in Canada. Efforts are underway on this front through direct networking, but the CHBA will be looking at more systematic ways to increase its membership in the rest of Canada.
The CHBA would also like to take this opportunity to invite other equity-seeking groups to collaborate with us and know that we are here to collaborate with you. We have a history of collaboration, but believe it is important to continue to offer our support and cooperation. We draw inspiration from the Indigenous Bar Association, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, among other organizations, and look forward to continuing and strengthening collaboration in the years to come – our profession and society will certainly benefit.
In closing, we would like to thank the Ontario Bar Association for its support of the CHBA and for this opportunity during Hispanic Heritage Month to share a bit about ourselves and our efforts and goals. Hailing from 26 countries, Canadians of Latin American/Hispanic origin make up a large and growing community in Canada. They enrich our national fabric with their diverse and vibrant cultures, experiences, cuisine, music, dance, and they play an important role in Canada’s growth and prosperity, thanks to their entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit.
We invite all Canadians to learn more about our heritage and to honour the rich cultural and artistic traditions of our fellow Canadians of Latin American/Hispanic origin.
We wish you a wonderful and Hispanic Heritage Month!
Gracias and Obrigado!