Introducing BFL UTSG, a new chapter at the U of T
Ben Eraze, the founding president of BFL UTSG at the St. George campus of the University of Toronto shared the following message:
“Hi everyone, my name is Ben Eraze and I am both the Founder and President of BFL UTSG. I am honored and excited to be leading a great team into the 2021-2022 academic school year. I look forward to the community engagement and the various opportunities we will provide our members.
BFL UTSG is a new club, and this coming academic year will be our official debut. In the past year, other BFL Chapters have done an excellent job providing adequate resources to black students who are interested in pursuing a career in law. They have done so, by creating a positive environment which provided their members with beneficial opportunities. We, as BFL UTSG, will do the exact same thing.
Our goal here is to ensure that our members are put in the position to network with other like-minded students, both undergraduates and graduates, as well as industry professionals. To make this possible, we will both host and take part in a series of events, speaker-series, conferences and more. Primarily, our goal at UTSG is to build a strong, inclusive, and inspiring community within UTSG's black community. The executive team and I are working diligently to ensure a successful inaugural year. “
Why did your team create BFL UTSG and why do you feel a BFL program at UTSG was necessary?
“The reason for creating BFL UTSG was to help assist black undergraduates who aspire to go to law school and further work in the legal profession. As an undergraduate member of BFL Central, upon attending the initial launch event and conference, I noticed, or at the very least, it seemed to be the case that BFL catered primarily to the faculty of law students and not undergraduates. With this, understanding the benefits BFL provided, such as the mentee/mentorship program, conferences, and networking opportunities, I felt that black undergraduates aspiring to become lawyers should also have access to these benefits, while at the same time fostering a community. From here, I proposed this idea to BFL Working Group members Josh Lokko and Novalee Davy, and with the additional help and support from Rebecca Barclay Nguinambaye, this is how it all started.
I believe a BFL program at UTSG is important because not only does it foster a community of like-minded individuals, but it provides black undergraduate students, interested in the legal field, with an opportunity to be a part of an organization dedicated to their success. Moreover, It bridges the gap between undergraduate students and working professionals. Especially, black undergraduates seeking guidance or mentorship as they navigate their way to law school and the legal profession.”
What goals are BFL UTSG trying to achieve for the 2021-2022 school year and what are you most excited for?
“For the 2021-2022 academic school year, BFL UTSG aims to provide incoming black students with support and networking opportunities. This will take the form of events held throughout the academic year from conferences, speaker-series, mentorship programs, and possibly mooting and mock trial across our other BFL campuses. As Founder and President of BFL UTSG, I am most excited to see the community engagement. That is, the collaborative efforts of members from both UTSG and BFL Central working together to further spread awareness of the benefits BFL has to offer. This, not just for black students interested in the legal field, but also for any black professionals that are in the legal field and interested in the cause.”
What kind of environment do you want to foster with the BFL community at UTSG?
“The environment I want to foster with the BFL community at UTSG, is one that promotes inclusion and seeks to inspire. Growing up, I was always taught that the highest good a human can do, is to inspire goodness and greatness. With BFL UTSG and BFL central, this is what I hope to accomplish, and this is the community I want to foster with BFL at UTSG. I want black undergraduate students who look at BFL and BFL UTSG to know that."
We are looking forward to all that BFL UTSG has planned for the upcoming school year and their involvement in the broader BFL community.
“I want to thank the UofT Faculty of Law and BFL Central for their continued support and participation in this initiative. Again, I am honored, and I look forward to meeting all our new members and supporters this September.” says Eraze.
For more on forming a BFL Chapter go to our Chapter page.