Toronto lawyers vow to donate to racial justice groups after every Raptors playoff win
A number of Toronto-based lawyers and Raptors fans have vowed to donate money to different organizations working on the fight for racial justice every time the team wins a playoff game, and they're encouraging anyone with the means to join them in their pledge.
Annamaria Enenajor is a criminal defence lawyer and the founder and director of Cannabis Amnesty, one of the organizations the group has chosen to donate to.
She's a huge Raptors fan and is taking part in this Black Lives Matter initiative, which she said was started by Raptors superfan and managing partner of a law firm Paliare Rolland, Rob Centa.
As the @Raptors start their playoff run, a group of lawyers/Raptors fans want to keep the focus on the fight for racial justice. Black lives matter today and every day. We are pledging to make a donation for each playoff win by the Raptors to a group promoting racial justice.— Annamaria Enenajor (@AEnenajor) August 17, 2020
"In previous years, Rob, myself, Gerald Chan, Nader Hasan and a bunch of other lawyers used to attend Raptors game together," Enenajor said.
"We can't this year, but we wanted to show our support for our home team and use the money we would have been using to pay for games to support organizations doing great work in the fight for racial equality and challenge our colleagues to do the same."
Centa, meanwhile, told the Toronto Star he was inspired by the way many of the Raptors players have used their platforms to educate and inform their fans about racism.
Indeed, the team has taken a strong stance against anti-Black racism and discrimination in recent months, and their buses, jerseys and masks are covered in powerful messages to prove it.
Silence is not an option. pic.twitter.com/qpn8sMo2nu— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) July 9, 2020
As a result, this group of lawyers is determined to follow in their lead.
In addition to Cannabis Amnesty, Enenajor's organization that fights for legislation to be passed in Canada to undo the harms caused by the criminalization of cannabis possession and its enforcement, which disproportionately targeted Black, Indigenous, and vulnerable members of society, the lawyers have chosen to donate to the Black Legal Action Centre and the Sentencing and Parole Project.
The former provides free legal services for low or no-income Black residents of Ontario, while the latter is a non-profit organization that prepares enhanced pre-sentence reports (EPSRs) for Black people marginalized by poverty and racial inequality to give judges and parole boards the information they need to make informed sentencing and release decisions.
Yesterday, following the Raptors' first playoff win, Centa donated $200 to the Sentencing and Parole Project.
✅ Easy work. #WeTheNorth #WINWIN pic.twitter.com/Q5sdEjBFFe— Rob Centa (@RobCenta) August 17, 2020
"It's important to continue to provide support for organizations that work towards equality," Enenajor said.
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