Kenaf Society Tue, 27 Sep 2022 16:18:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kenaf Society 32 32 Exploring Ken Paxton’s Idiosyncratic View of Law Tue, 27 Sep 2022 16:18:20 +0000

Ernesto Herrera is a bailiff in the state of Texas. On Monday morning, he went to the home of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) to serve him with two subpoenas ordering Paxton to appear in court the next day to give evidence in an action in legal action brought by abortion rights groups in the state.

According to a statement, Herrera arrived at Paxton’s home around 8:30 a.m. He knocked and spoke with Paxton’s wife, who said the attorney general was on the phone. Herrera then waited outside. Almost an hour later, an SUV arrived at the house. When Paxton emerged to enter, Herrera approached him. Paxton quickly (Herrera says he ran) ran back into the house. Ten minutes later, Paxton’s wife, Senator Angela Paxton (right), opens the doors of the truck and Paxton rushes (again: “runs”) to enter. Herrera says he identified himself and served the papers by leaving them near the vehicle.

After the Texas Tribune reported on the events on Monday night, Paxton went wild on Twitter. The media, he said, “attacked me for having the audacity to avoid having a stranger lingering outside my home and caring about the safety and well-being of my family.”

Paxton’s tweet, unlike Herrera’s statement, was not offered under oath. Additionally, there is no indication that Paxton alerted law enforcement after Herrera’s arrival, suggesting that his safety concerns may not have been so strong at this time. To all appearances, that was what it looked like: Texas’ chief legal officer circumventing a legally submitted subpoena.

Not exactly surprising, however, given Paxton’s history of using the law for political gain.

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We can start in 2014, the year Paxton was first elected as Attorney General. Even before he secured the Republican nomination, questions arose as to whether he had broken the law in the work he had done for a financial services company. He was charged with three felony counts the following year – after being appointed attorney general – and pleaded not guilty.

These charges are pending. Seven years later, there has been no trial. He was narrowly re-elected in 2018.

In 2020, Paxton was accused of bribery and abuse of power by seven of his staff. All seven were fired, furloughed or resigned soon after. The FBI would investigate the allegations, although he has been cleared of any wrongdoing… by his own office.

Meanwhile, Paxton, who is up for re-election this year, has often used his position to push partisan positions and arguments. He filed a motion to force the White House to continue building a wall on the border with Mexico. Her office announced that some medical care for transgender youth amounted to “child abuse.” He touted a patently specious claim about rampant illegal voter registrations that the Texas secretary of state quickly had to counter.

But it matched his forceful effort to use the power of his position on behalf of Donald Trump. Paxton made Texas the lead plaintiff in a post-election lawsuit filed in 2020 seeking to overturn presidential contest results in a number of swing states. The lawsuit was dubious in broad outline and ridiculous in its specific allegations of voter fraud. Although Trump centers it as essential and important, the lawsuit, which was reportedly drafted by attorneys close to Trump’s White House, was thrown out by the Supreme Court.

This plea on behalf of Trump likely allowed Paxton to speak at Trump’s rally outside the White House on January 6, 2021.

” We are here. We won’t stop fighting, he told the crowd – some of whom later fought on Capitol Hill. After the violence, however, Paxton claimed on social media that the rioters were “not Trump supporters.” The Texas State Bar then sued Paxton for violating ethical standards over his efforts to reverse the election results. In response, Paxton barred office attorneys from participating in state bar events.

However, the attorney general’s embrace of voter fraud conspiracy theories did not end with his failed efforts to boost Trump. Earlier this year he hosted a screening of Dinesh D’Souza’s “2000 Mules,” a film he described as “very compelling.” Documents provided to The Washington Post by the Lone Star Project (obtained under the Texas Public Information Act) show that Paxton’s office encouraged officials to attend the screening.

The fact that the film had already been largely debunked at the time of the invitation does not appear to have influenced the suggestion that the Election Integrity Team attend. “Election #fraud is real and we must come together to stop it! » Paxton tweeted after the event – ​​a reminder that it was about showing allegiance to the right-wing stance on election security much more than bolstering “election integrity.”

Earlier this year, Paxton again won the Republican Party’s nomination for state attorney general – but only after being the only incumbent forced into a runoff. Given state politics and the midterm elections, he is likely to be re-elected for the second time.

Perhaps at the end of a third term, his 2015 indictment will be resolved. But who knows what other legal quagmires might arise in the meantime.

]]> Iran summons British and Norwegian envoys as unrest continues Sun, 25 Sep 2022 12:04:11 +0000

Iran has summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors for what it said was interference and hostile media coverage of the nationwide unrest sparked by the death of a woman in the custody of vice police, the agency said on Sunday. ISNA semi-official press. Demonstrations that erupted more than a week ago at the funeral of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini have spread across the country and turned into the biggest wave of protests in years.

Iranian state television says 41 people have been killed. Authorities have restricted internet and mobile services to prevent the dissemination of footage of the protests and the security forces’ response, activists said. President Ebrahim Raisi says Iran guarantees freedom of expression and has ordered an investigation into the death in custody of Amini, who was arrested by police enforcing Islamic Republic restrictions on dress women’s clothing.

He also said “acts of chaos” were unacceptable and that Iran must deal decisively with the unrest. At the United Nations, he said widespread coverage of Amini’s case was a “double standard”, pointing to deaths in police custody in the United States. Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Britain’s ambassador on Saturday in response to the “unfriendly character” of London-based Persian-language media, according to the ISNA news agency.

The Norwegian envoy was also summoned to explain the “interventionist stance” of the speaker of the country’s parliament, who expressed his support for the protesters on Twitter. Amini’s death has reignited anger in Iran over issues such as restrictions on personal freedoms, strict dress codes for women and a sanctions-reeling economy.

Women played a prominent role in the protests, waving and burning their veils. Some publicly cut their hair as angry mobs called for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The protests are the largest to sweep the country since protests over fuel prices in 2019, when Reuters reported that 1,500 people were killed in a crackdown on protesters – the bloodiest episode of internal unrest of the history of the Islamic Republic.

VIDEOS OF PROTEST The official IRNA news agency said on Sunday that a member of the Basij, a militia under the aegis of the Revolutionary Guards, died from wounds sustained during a clash with what he has called rioters to Orumieh in northwestern Iran, where many of Iran Direct’s 10 million Kurds.

He said his death came at a “critical moment in the 43-year history of the Islamic revolution”, referring to Iran’s four decades of clerical rule since the overthrow of the Shah. State media said 12 bank branches were destroyed in the unrest over the past few days and 219 ATMs were damaged.

Iranian human rights group Hengaw described the city of Oshnavieh, also in the northwest of the country, as “completely militarized”. He said the city was on strike, authorities were making arrests and at least five bodies were in the hospital morgue. Reuters could not verify the report. Late Saturday, the activist Twitter account 1500tasvir released videos of protests in Tehran’s western Sattarkhan neighborhood showing protesters gathered in a square chanting “fear not, we’re all in this together”, with a motorcycle belonging apparently with riot police burning in the background.

Video posted on social media on Saturday showed a protest in the northern town of Babol, with youths trying to remove portraits of Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, in the door of a university while passers-by shouted “death to the dictator”. .”

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Raptors’ Siakam supports law students in latest charity initiative Thu, 22 Sep 2022 16:23:05 +0000

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam wants to bridge the gap between young lawyers and organizations working for positive social change. (Photo via Metropolitan Toronto University)

Pascal Siakam has become one of the best players in the NBA in recent years, highlighted by his selection to the All-NBA Third Team last season.

But despite all of his on-court success with the Raptors, Siakam is equally proud of his community work and his various charitable endeavors in Toronto and beyond.

On Wednesday, Metropolitan University of Toronto announced that Siakam, in partnership with the PS43 Canada Foundation, made a donation last summer to Lincoln Alexander School of Law to provide students with the opportunity “to gain work experience rewarding and remunerated with several organizations working for social change.”

“My father understood that education has the power to change lives and I try to honor his passion for learning through our work at PS43,” said Siakam. of organizations that have the public interest at heart is exactly the kind of empowering experience that can transform their future.”

The 28-year-old’s support has helped broaden the reach of law school Summer Experience Projects initiative and includes organizations that typically do not have the capacity or resources to give students and young lawyers hands-on experience during their summer vacations.

The goal of the initiative is to match students with “frontline organizations that support Indigenous, racialized and other equity-deserving communities who face poverty, discrimination or other systemic barriers.” the legal system and/or education, social and mental health services”.

“Our law school has a responsibility to prepare our students to become competent lawyers and engaged citizens committed to serving their communities with compassion,” said Donna E. Young, founding dean of the Lincoln Alexander School of Law. “We are extremely grateful to Mr. Siakam and the PS43 Canada Foundation for this generous donation, which has given our students an important opportunity to work hand-in-hand with communities to champion equity and social justice.”

The donation from Siakam and the PS43 Canada Foundation gave the organizations involved the peace of mind to bring young, aspiring lawyers into their work without having to worry about the financial commitment this would inevitably entail.

“Last summer, I had the opportunity to work with Justice For Children and Youth, a Toronto legal clinic that provides legal services to youth facing poverty and homelessness,” said Shardaine Rowe Brown , a second-year law student. . “Mr. Siakam’s donation to my law school has not only allowed me to gain legal experience without financial anxiety, but it has also opened a new avenue for a potential career as a social justice lawyer. Mr. Siakam’s generosity has directly impacted my future in a positive and meaningful way.”

The Lincoln Alexander School of Law is Canada’s newest law school, welcoming its first students in 2020.

Founded by Siakam, the PS43 Canada Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to impact children’s lives through education, encouraging financial literacy, sports and life skills to “teach children and give them an edge in society.

In June, the Douala, Cameroon native hosted his third ‘Coding for Champions’ initiative, in which the Raptors star and his foundation donated 150 laptops to young girls pursuing careers in the tech industry.

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Strong women shouldn’t have to apologize for defying social norms Wed, 21 Sep 2022 04:22:39 +0000
Strong women are often criticized by society for defying patriarchal norms and refusing to limit their existence to stereotypes. They are fearless, opinionated and know their rights well. Obviously, our patriarchal society feels intimidated by these strong women and wastes no time labeling them as rude, haughty and selfish. They are expected to apologize for their behavior when all they do is refuse to settle for anything less than their rights.

A strong woman can be any woman who puts herself above everything else. But the problem is that when women become aware of their needs and desires, they are labeled as selfish. In our society, it is not common for women to be outspoken and determined. They are expected to be submissive and servile. But when women break the norm and are different, or let me rephrase, choose to live as humans and not as servants, they are considered unsanskari for their defiance. They are ashamed of not being like other women.

Men, on the other hand, are never criticized for putting themselves first. They never feel guilty for not thinking about others or society. Moreover, when men stand up for their rights, it is seen as their duty. It is considered natural for men to react when something bad happens to them. But women are expected to be silent and bear all the injustice to preserve their izzat and that of their family. The very fact that society expects strong women to apologize indicates that society has different rules for men and women. And now that women can see through this hypocrisy, pretending we’re meant to live the way society wants us to is not an option.

Why is being submissive considered a woman’s duty? Shouldn’t women ever fight for their rights? Should women sacrifice their well-being to maintain the status quo of society?

Suggested Reading: Why Women Are Supposed to Be Mature Partners in a Relationship

Strength is never a defect, it is a character trait that is found in both men and women. A strong woman does not shame society, indeed her courage is a matter of pride and her determination often goes unnoticed. A strong woman helps build the framework of a resilient country by contributing economically and socially. She won’t hesitate to scream harassment, discrimination and oppression. It will go further and require changes in the infrastructure – both in our families and in society, and in the workplace, to pave the way for more women to pursue their dreams. She has within her the ability to dream big and work hard to achieve her goals and in doing so, she becomes a role model for other women.

Beyond that, a strong woman is empathetic to others and ensures that equality and empowerment don’t stop at her doorstep. After all, it takes a different kind of strength to stand up for others and cheer when they succeed.

So before you ask strong women to apologize, remember what you are putting on the line. Rethink whether it is women who should apologize for their strength and power or society for being an obstacle to success. empowerment of women and the country.

The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Democrats push for new election law; Key inflation problem for Americans Tue, 20 Sep 2022 23:21:20 +0000

With the midterm elections just weeks away, Democrats are stepping up a last-ditch effort to change how campaigns work. They say it exposes black money, while Republicans call it an effort to federalize elections.

Interest rates are expected to see another rate hike by the Federal Reserve this week. How will this affect consumers and the cost of living?

Congressman Ralph Norman joins us to discuss the impending Fed interest rate hike and the implications for the global economy.

Talks are ongoing on the Hill about decoupling from China.

A new bill aims to restrict gender transition services for minors across the United States. Republicans say they want to protect the innocence of children with this bill.

A Heritage Foundation senior researcher breaks down new transgender policy guidelines in Virginia. How are the new rules different from those of the previous administration?

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Top cop slams Illinois SAFE-T law — dubbed ‘purge law’ — as social experiment, hits 48-hour gap for missing perps Sun, 18 Sep 2022 18:29:36 +0000

A FORMER police chief says the controversial ‘purge law’ would put people’s lives at risk and doesn’t want it to be used as a social experiment for bail reform.

Illinois law calls for the end of statewide cash bail effective Jan. 1, 2023, and a provision that bars cops from searching for missing offenders until 48 hours after their offense.


Former Riverside, Illinois police chief Tom Wietzel says he doesn’t want his state to be a social experiment to end cash bailCredit: provided
llinois SAFE-T law has been dubbed


Illinois’ SAFE-T Law was dubbed “The Purge Law” on social media after the filmCredit: Alamy

The two changes are part of a sweeping justice reform law called the SAFE-T (Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today) Act, which social media has called “the purge law.”

About 102 of Illinois’ 102 county prosecutors opposed the bill and police were never consulted before it passed, former Riverside Police Chief Tom Wietzel told the US Sun.

“We told them it was not a good idea,” said Wietzel, who retired in May 2021 after nearly four decades in law enforcement, including surviving a gunshot. hunting in the chest.

“I think it was just a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in Minneapolis, and the politicians want to say Illinois is the first state to end cash bail.”

'The Purge' law releasing thousands of inmates 'will end after killings', expert says
Illinois 'purge law' creates 'criminal paradise', says mother of shooting victims

A few cities across the United States have implemented varying degrees of bail reform, but this law is the most drastic because it applies statewide and includes violent crimes like murder and kidnapping.

Loyola University Chicago and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority will evaluate the changes made by the law.

“I don’t want Illinois to be a social experiment.”

Former Chief of Police Tom Wietzel

“I don’t want Illinois to be a social experiment,” Weitzel said. “And you’re not experiencing criminal justice. Lives are at risk.”

Weitzel noted that comments from law enforcement are again excluded from the study and show a “disrespect” to cops who make arrests and are directly affected by the law.

“If they don’t include the police officers themselves and/or the police chiefs, in my view, the report and the analysis would be flawed,” the retired Riverside police officer said.

The summary of the evaluation does not mention specific benchmarks to determine the success or failure of the delivery.


Ever since the world watched the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a disgraced ex-cop, the pendulum has swung dramatically toward police reform.

The result led to positive changes, which Weitzel says are included in the legislation, such as body cameras and new training.

But the downside has been a more passive approach to crime, which has increased in most major US cities in recent years.

In Chicago, the number of murders rose from 361 in 2019 to 536 in 2020 to 565 in 2021, according to the latest crime statistics from the Chicago Police Department. So far in 2022, there are 479 murders.

“The pendulum always swings from one extreme to the other and then swings back,” Wietzel said.

“But if we don’t act, the pendulum may not swing back to public safety.”


The other problem Weitzel sees with the 800-page legislation concerns changes to the electronic monitoring system, which is already in effect.

Suspects with GPS ankle monitors are not considered offending until they have been missing for 48 hours, which begins after police confirm they are missing.

“It can take a week or more before the police realize someone is gone. And then the 48-hour countdown begins,” Weitzel said.

“My three sons are all police officers, and they’ve made more arrests for serious DUI crimes where the suspect has the electronic ankle bracelet,” he said.

“It shows that they are still committing crimes.”

CWB Chicago, a local outlet, uncovered the number of shootings committed by the defendants under the electronic monitoring placement program.

On Thursday, the outlet reported that a suspect charged with murder is the “37th person charged with killing or shooting – or attempting to kill or shoot – someone in Chicago while awaiting trial for a felony This year”.

The US Sun has filed a public information request for data related to the statewide electronic monitoring placement program.


Supporters and opponents of the law have generally been divided along political parties.

Many Republicans argued that this would increase crime; while Democrats argue that the current bail system discriminates against people of color.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker addressed opponents of the law in a tweet Wednesday morning.

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“Misinformation is spreading like wildfire, and there are ugly lies floating around about the SAFE-T Act,” he said.

“This law does not mandate the release of defendants or create ‘non-custodial offences.’ Defendants are eligible for bail based on their risk, not their bank accounts. Learn more.”

Illinois prisoners feared to be released under state's SAFE-T law


Illinois prisoners feared to be released under state’s SAFE-T lawCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Court rules in favor of Texas social media regulation law Fri, 16 Sep 2022 23:42:00 +0000

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Friday in favor of a Texas law targeting big social media companies like Facebook and Twitter in a victory for Republicans who accuse the platforms of censoring the conservative discourse.

But the ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans likely won’t be the final word in a legal battle that has stakes beyond Texas, and could impact how some of the The world’s biggest tech companies regulate their users’ content.

The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last year, has been challenged by tech trade groups who warn it would block platforms from suppressing extremism and hate speech. A similar law was also passed in Florida and ruled unconstitutional by a separate appeals court.

The final word will likely come from the United States Supreme Court, which earlier this year blocked the Texas law while the trial unfolded.

“Today, we reject the idea that corporations have the right to freely censor what people say,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Andrew Oldham wrote.

NetChoice, one of the groups challenging the law, expressed disappointment in a statement pointing out that the decision was the opposite of the decision made in the lawsuit against the Florida law.

“We remain confident that when the United States Supreme Court hears any of our cases, it will respect the First Amendment rights of websites, platforms and apps,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice.

Republican lawmakers in several states have backed laws like those enacted in Florida and Texas that sought to portray social media companies as generally liberal and hostile to ideas outside that view, particularly from the political right.

Judge Samuel Alito wrote in May that it was unclear how past High Court First Amendment cases, many of which predate the internet age, apply to Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other digital platforms.

The Florida law, as enacted, would give the Florida Attorney General the power to prosecute companies under the state’s deceptive and unfair trade practices law. It would also allow individual residents to sue social media companies for up to $100,000 if they believe they have been treated unfairly.

Texas law only applies to the largest social media platforms that have more than 50,000 active users.

We once had a law to defend human attention. It’s time for an update. Thu, 15 Sep 2022 15:06:39 +0000

It’s not your imagination. Life really is noisier than it has ever been.

Even though the shelter-in-place orders of 2020 have brought a temporary break from the cacophony, the trajectory of the modern world seems inexorable: more cars on the roads, planes in the sky, drones whirring, gadgets chiming, bustling open-plan offices and loud TVs built into gas pumps and taxi seats. The National Park Service estimates that noise pollution increases two to three times every 30 years. Fire sirens – a good indicator of the loudness of surrounding soundscapes – are up to six times louder than they were a century ago. The World Health Organization estimates that around 65% of Europeans live with noise levels that are hazardous to health.

And it’s not just auditory noise. It is also informational noise. The average person in the United States consumes at least five times more information every day than they did a generation ago. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt hypothesized in 2010 that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization until 2003. Experts in the science of human attention say we simply can’t process anything near standard modern levels of mental stimulation.

Noise, whether literal or figurative, is not just an irritant. It is a danger to our mental and physical health. A series of peer-reviewed studies over the past few decades have shown that high decibel levels have a serious impact on cognition, especially in children, and contribute to health risks including cardiovascular disease, strokes and depression. The Center for Humane Technology – a leading research and public interest group founded by veteran Silicon Valley technologists – has listed academic research showing that most people switch between different content online every 19 seconds, that the average person spends a full hour each day dealing with online interruptions, and that the level of social media use on any given day is linked to a significant increase in memory impairment the next.

Our devices steal our attention. We have to take it back.

There are no simple political solutions to combat the proliferation of noise. After all, the mainstream idea of ​​economic progress—measured by gross domestic product—depends on expanding the noise of industrial production, big data, and the attention economy.

But history shows that there could be a way forward.

Fifty years ago this fall, at a time of growing concern about increasing industrial noise, President Richard Nixon signed the first—and arguably only—federal law devoted to protecting human attention. The Noise Control Act of 1972 was intended to give Americans the right to a reasonably quiet environment. He created the Federal Office for Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC) with a mandate to coordinate noise control research, establish federal hearing emission standards for products, and provide grants and technical assistance to state and local governments to reduce noise pollution. Although the bureau lacked the authority to regulate noise from most transportation infrastructure, it led a public education effort that raised public awareness of transportation noise, ultimately prompting airports, airlines and freight companies to take the problem seriously.

The Reagan administration canceled and largely dismantled federal noise control programs as part of its anti-regulation campaign in 1982. Nonetheless, ONAC remains an admirable example of precautionary public policy that puts human health first. , well-being and cognition. The Nixon-era noise management regime was based on a notion still largely unknown within the US government – or most governments for that matter: there is an inherent value in undisturbed human attention, and society has a compelling interest in defending it..

Today, a wide range of policy ideas aim to regulate the excesses of the attention economy – from requiring transparency on algorithms, banning autoplay and infinite scrolling features, and the placement of “Surgeon General warnings” on addictive products, to antitrust actions to take down the biggest players and transform the market incentives that drive companies to develop addictive technologies.

Smart takes on this absurd modern life

During the campaign trail for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, candidate Andrew Yang proposed creating a Cabinet-level Department of Attention Economics. Although the idea at first seemed fanciful, Yang made an important point. There is no single government agency responsible for managing the attention economy, a complex issue whose areas of jurisdiction span dozens of agencies and several federal departments. If most people spend most of their waking lives on computers, phones, televisions, and other devices through which advertisers and data miners vie for their attention, why wouldn’t there be a serious political apparatus devoted to it? And why shouldn’t we streamline the tools we have to impose policies around these issues?

Beyond the ideological divide, there is great interest in reining in the excesses of Big Tech and its effects on our attention. For example, recent bipartisan legislation in the Senate requiring greater transparency from Facebook and other platforms regarding the social and psychological effects of their algorithms could help combat some informational noise. But the U.S. government would also benefit from a new attention watchdog and political clearinghouse within the executive branch – something akin to a bureau of scrutiny and noise reduction from the 21st century – with a mandate to combat the increase in auditory and informational noise.

While the idea of ​​a federal “attention watchdog” would be controversial with the industry, the government also faced retaliation against the original ONAC. Interest groups, including manufacturing industries and transit authorities, have opposed binding noise regulations. Yet policy makers moved forward. Speaking in support of the noise reduction movement in 1968, US Surgeon General William H. Stewart asked, “Must we wait to prove every link in the chain of causation?” … When it comes to health protection, absolute proof comes late. To wait for it is to invite disaster or prolong suffering unnecessarily.

In Nixon’s day, economist Herbert Simon, later a Nobel laureate, wrote, “What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Therefore, a wealth of information creates attention poverty. Today, as Simon pointed out, we live in a world where quiet time and focused attention are extraordinarily rare. It is time for the government – once again – to honor peace and quiet as a public good.

]]> New England leader looks to a workforce free from adverse social norms that affect women and girls Mon, 12 Sep 2022 06:00:00 +0000

Throughout her successes, her mother, whom she did not see again until 2005, always asked her: “What are you giving back? »

Today, Ajakaiye is the founder and executive director of RISE Women’s Leadership Conference (Realizing Inspiration and Sustaining Excellence), a nonpartisan educational nonprofit in Providence that connects women from all industries in New England on issues related to gender parity, socio-economic topics and the equality at work. The women on the board come from a variety of backgrounds, but are an all-volunteer advisory board.

They host a conference every year, which was held September 8 at the Rhode Island Convention Center with over 55 local stakeholders.

Q: What inspired you to launch RISE?

Ajakaiye: I constantly look back and think I was the key kid, but there are a lot of young girls out there who need to hear positive messages. And by the time they might be thinking about college or just making good decisions about high school, it might be too late. I want to be able to message these girls early and make change happen sooner.

What do you do the rest of the year?

We started developing opportunities for anyone on the advisory board talk in schools. We do online webinars, which have become a source of dialogue throughout the year. And we have a scholarship event every year – five girls win prizes every year. We will have a physical office from next year.

This year, we have also collaborated with Accreditation Aid, where we distributed sanitary napkins during the conference. I have an idea—which is in its infancy—to put lockers around town for teenage girls in Providence to pick up free sanitary pads with a code, no questions asked.

Do you incorporate men into the workshops or the conference?

I’m a mom of two teenagers, have an amazing husband and a phenomenal dad who sacrificed everything to make me the woman I am today. So this year, we incorporated a whole panel of men and called “the men who get it”. In order to evoke change, you need to bring all the stakeholders around the table. And we talked about the critical need for men to support the progress of women.

You’re also executive vice president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, a position a woman probably wouldn’t have held 50 years ago. For those who say we’ve come a long way, how much do we have to do to make the workplace a truly fair place for women?

There is certainly progress. I am an immigrant from Ethiopia, who had the opportunities I had, and now I am in my role as Executive Vice President of the GBCVB – which is a 45 year old legacy organization. I was the first black female leader the organization ever hired. We need to celebrate these things. You might say I’m breaking glass ceilings for other like-minded people in my organization, but there are plenty more to break.

What do you think are the main issues women will face in the workplace in 2022?

Pay equity is an easy catch. We know the problems that come with that. But I recently saw one stat where men had recovered from job loss due to the pandemic, but another [1.1 million] women had not returned to the labor market [from February 2020 to January 2022]. Why is that? I think there is still a serious gap in allowing women to be truly present and at the forefront of high performance jobs, while still being able to be recognized and rewarded for being an effective mother.

Additionally, there are serious shortcomings when it comes to women in the boardroom – leading and not being questioned. She shouldn’t have impostor syndrome or thank someone for having them there. There are qualified women everywhere and there are enough seats for them.

What do you see as positive in the workplace?

There is a certain momentum that I still see among organizations that want to make sure they are like the communities they serve. After the [murder] of George Floyd, there has been work around equity, diversity and inclusion, especially among those at the highest levels of leadership. We have to stick to it.

You work for the Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Yet the conference has always been held in Providence since 2018. Why is that?

I live in Rhode Island, and we have women on the advisory board who are in Maryland, Connecticut, Boston, and Florida. The question is always asked: Why not Boston? But we are an entirely voluntary operation. We all have full-time jobs and careers that we love and we don’t want to bite off more than we can chew. But we were asked to duplicate this event in other cities as far as Canada. And we know there’s room for a conference like this in other cities — but maybe when we increase our budget.

The Boston Globe’s weekly Ocean State Innovators column features a Q&A with Rhode Island innovators who are building new businesses and nonprofits, conducting groundbreaking research and reshaping the state’s economy. Send tips and suggestions to journalist Alexa Gagosz at

Alexa Gagosz can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.

A legal industry that made the Queen proud Sun, 11 Sep 2022 23:00:07 +0000

This is a moment of enormous significance for the British people. The end of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign after 70 years on the throne somewhat overshadowed the change of Prime Minister in a time of national crisis.

What Liz Truss and King Charles III inherit is a nation facing tough times. Taking his lead, Truss said the UK “can weather the storm”. She hadn’t expected the flash that came just 48 hours later, triggering a long period of national mourning.

As expected, comments from leaders in the UK legal industry poured in. lawyers paid tribute.

It can be tempting to try to look grandiose on occasions like this. But the truth is that the legal industry has a role to play right now as a key pillar of British society, which, as well as upholding the rule of law, upholds the country’s best values ​​and traditions.

On the morning of the Queen’s death, I presided over a judging session for the British Legal Awards, which took place in November. It was a room full of high caliber people, many of whom have not only been at the top of their fields for decades, but are still striving for improvements and progress around the world.

But I wasn’t impressed so much with their accomplishments as with their intelligence, thoughtfulness, and charm. Their ability to quickly understand complex issues and make thoughtful suggestions on the best course of action.

When I wrote about finance, my colleagues and I would scour the Queen’s New Year Honors list each year to write about bankers and hedge fund managers who had been knighted. The commercial legal industry is different, its attorneys don’t tend to be given as many honours.

And yet, it is a discreet honor. One who offers stability and wisdom, just as Queen Elizabeth II has done throughout her many years of service.

It is these and several other qualities that make lawyers well suited for politics. Indeed, world leaders like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were all lawyers.

Politicians who previously worked in law say their legal training has proven invaluable, as this fascinating article explains.

Former UK Conservative Justice Secretary David Gauke, who is now head of public policy at Macfarlanes, explained: ‘A lot of what Parliament does is to scrutinize legislation, so the experience of dealing with the law on a day-to-day basis is really good experience for that.

Unfortunately, the number of lawyers entering the House of Commons is decreasing, partly because the financial sacrifice is simply too great.

But given that so many British lawyers are unhappy with Truss’s appointment, it may be up to a few lawyers to consider trying to change the situation by stepping up themselves. They have all the necessary tools at their disposal.

The same could be said for lawyers everywhere, but many eyes are particularly on the British legal system, which has spread across the world and continues to be respected around the world.

At the same time, the strength of British legal institutions does not make them invulnerable to market forces, of course.

Linklaters last week lost partners to US-led Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in London and Latham & Watkins in Spain, while questions are being asked about the Slaughter elite and May’s ability to continue as the impenetrable fortress given to him. vulnerable to side recruitment raids.

Some of the oldest British companies aren’t even really British companies anymore. The way some of London’s best-known businesses have grown means it’s illogical to think of them that way now and there will be repercussions.

These institutions are also not perfect. A detailed assessment of social mobility in the top UK legal industry by senior journalist Varsha Patel found that the industry’s top ranks and newest interns still come mainly from private schools and socio-economic backgrounds. professionals.

Little progress is being made. In the London office of a US-based company, only 10% of partners went to public school, compared to 93% in the general population.

But at the same time, inspiring stories are unfolding beneath the surface. Reena Parmar, Senior Knowledge Advocate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, talks here about her experiences as a lawyer with disabilities.

Much still needs to change in the profession to help people like her, but her courage, like many other disadvantaged lawyers we interviewed, is commendable.

In fact, it’s just one of many things about lawyers in the UK that would probably have made the Queen proud.