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Black Legal Action Centre names new executive director, general counsel

Friday, June 11, 2021 @ 2:01 PM | By John Chunn

The board of directors of the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) announced that Moya Teklu is the clinic’s new executive director and general counsel. Her appointment is effective as of June 7, 2021.

According to the centre’s press release, Teklu has a long history of working to eradicate anti-Black racism in the justice system and of delivering legal aid services to members of Ontario’s Black communities. For the past six years, she worked at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) where she implemented a significant service delivery plan for Black Ontarians, provided critical support during the implementation of BLAC and authored LAO’s Racialized Community Strategy.

Teklu was called to the bar in 2010 and has participated in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. She has taught legal ethics at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

“I am honoured to be assuming the role of executive director and general counsel of the Black Legal Action Centre. As a Black woman and lawyer, this work is particularly meaningful to me and I welcome the opportunity to continue to build on the progress BLAC has already achieved,” Moya said in the press release. “I look forward to serving those who deserve a fair and just legal process, as well as advocating for systemic justice with the goal of liberation for all Black Ontarians.”

Along with Teklu’s appointment, BLAC is welcoming new board members. New board chair Aba Stevens is joined by Erin Atkinson, Okeima Lawrence, Sarah Riley Case and Roy Williams.

“Our board has every confidence that Moya will lead BLAC into its next chapter with diligence, integrity, transparency, and creativity,” Stevens said in the release. “We believe she will be a bright mentor and leader for BLAC’s staff. We also trust that she will work to advance BLAC's mission — to educate, advocate and litigate to tackle anti-Black racism in Ontario.”

BLAC provides legal services in the areas of education, employment, housing, human rights, policing, prison law, child protection and social benefits. BLAC also engages in systemic projects for deep and meaningful transformation.