For your commitment to disrupting gender-based violence
Executive Vice President
Leader of the Lerners Sexual Assault
and Abuse Team
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is excited to announce that the 2023 Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award will honour Dr. Wendy Cukier and Oyeyinka Oyelowo. Through their exceptional work and advocacy, Dr. Cukier and Ms. Oyelowo demonstrate their commitment to supporting women and gender-diverse people experiencing violence.
Oyeyinka Oyelowo is a lawyer and the founder of Yinka Law, a civil litigation law firm dedicated to excellent advocacy in tribunals and courts, eradicating anti-Black racism and advancing equality rights. She has a strong commitment to the rights of working people, and a robust understanding of criminal law, administrative law, employment, and labour law. She has contributed to the eradication of anti-Black racism through leading human rights training, engaging in human rights advocacy in private practice, and with pro-bono Ontario initiatives, and by providing mentorship opportunities to BIPOC students seeking to eradicate racism.
Oyeyinka Oyelowo is the Board Director for the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace – an UNESCO accredited United Nations group focused on advancing women’s rights, climate justice and peace initiatives around the world. By representing clients using human rights laws and litigation, Yinka Law works to eradicate human rights violations by educating individuals about how to understand the law and navigate the court system. Our mission is to ensure access to justice through education about how human rights laws affect our past, present, and future.
Ms. Oyelowo typically collaborates with international civil society organizations to teach courses related to human rights and international law. For example, Yinka Law worked with the Ontario Justice Education Program to deliver human rights training in the Together 180 program. The event occurred in May of 2022, and there were over 15 young people in attendance. Yinka Law has collaborated with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Toronto in April of 2022 to deliver feminist and anti-racism programming to over 500 individuals in attendance.
Ms. Oyelowo was nominated as one of Canada’s Most Influential Lawyers in the field of Human Rights law in the year 2021 and 2023. Her clients have consistently heralded her as a strong advocate with unparalleled results protecting her clients’ best interests. Ms. Oyelowo provides sophisticated, efficient, and poised legal services that produce excellent results and help marginalized clients access justice regardless of their sex, race, or economic background. Ms. Oyelowo is also the founder of Alagbara Media Inc., and a co-creator of “Safe Spaces” a documentary series that questions whether psychological and/or physical spaces can be created to protect vulnerable groups, such as women experiencing poverty and/or homelessness from violence.
Ms. Oyelowo provides legal services to individuals who are from vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds, specifically regarding limited financial resources, for them to pursue litigation, higher education, and mental health support.
Yinka Law is technologically innovative which makes the organization a permissionless provider of workplace harassment and sexual harassment education relating to human rights law and criminal law. By adopting a model of collaboration with like-minded organizations, Yinka Law has created a model for educating young people and organizations that does not require regulators or an approved statutory structure. The use of art therapy, for example, to teach complex topics such as human rights law and criminal law is permissionless because it transcends the dominant mode of teaching individuals about how the law has an immense effect on their lives.
Oyeyinka Oyelowo founded Yinka Law, a law firm that began providing legal services to individuals experiencing human rights violations on the basis of their ethnicity, race, ancestry, skin colour
and/or country of origin in February of 2021. Her contributions to eradicating discrimination and harassment in employment, services and housing began with her work as a Legal Leadership program officer with the Ontario Justice Education Network in 2017 and as the Special Programs.
Oyeyinka Oyelowo has provided criminal law legal services, employment law services, labour law services and human rights services to Black communities living across Ontario since May of 2016.
Oyeyinka Oyelowo describes outstanding as bringing together leading institutions and individuals from the legal and education sectors to collaborate on initiatives designed to foster student’s understanding of the justice system.