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EDI Forum: Bar, BAME, and COVID-19

On 30 June, we held the second of our Equalty, Diversity & Inclusion Forums this year.  Panellists Natasha Shotunde, Jo Sidhu QC and Professor Leslie Thomas QC discussed their experiences at the Bar as barristers from ethic minorities, the impact of Covid-19 on diversity at the Bar, and what changes could be made by the Bar to address issues faced by BAME barristers.  The event was co-chaired by Brie Stevens-Hoare QC and Neil Chawla.

Lots of recommendations for further reading and listening and other information were mentioned by the panel or shared in the chat by attendees during the event:


Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Akala, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

Ibram X. Kendi: How to be an Anti-Racist

Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

A Reading List on Racism in the Legal Profession put together by Sally McLaren of Inner Temple


Why Not Being Racist is Not Enough by Don Lemon from the new CNN series called Silence is Not an Option.

Reni Eddo-Lodge has done a great series of podcasts on race and interviewed ‘BAME’ activists from 70s/80s who identified as ‘politically black’.


If anyone has any queries about the Black Barristers’ Network, please do send an email to [email protected].

An article about Professor Thomas’ work in Counsel, July 2020

A recent interview with Jo Sidhu about COVID-19 on YouTube

To read about Dr John Roberts QC, the first person of African descent to become a silk in 1988

Bar None has just been launched by the Western Circuit to increase BAME representation at the Bar. The launch event is a webinar to encourage diversity in the judiciary and will be hosted by the Recorder of Bristol. Email [email protected] if interested.

An event for any racialised lawyers who want to come together to bring our campaigns together – creating more strength – and forcing change.

For a course on anti-oppression theory

For an article on Race in The Founder