Law Faculty shines light on black women negotiators
One week after International Women’s Day and a month after Black History Month, the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law would like to shine a light on two black, female law students who have achieved success in an area that is a key component of all legal practice — negotiation.
Reanna Blair and Menal Al Fekih are stellar negotiators. After their excellent performance in the Faculty’s mandatory negotiation course, they qualified to participate in the Robson Hall Negotiation Competition, where they achieved a first-place win. Then, they went on to represent Team Manitoba in the Canadian National Negotiation Competition.
“It felt great to see our hard work validated when we won the UM competition and felt honoured to represent Robson Hall at the national level,” says Reanna Blair. “We would like to thank everyone who assisted us and helped make this experience possible, notably coaches Heather Wadsworth, Andrew Torbiak, and Professors Bruce Curran, Jennifer Schulz, Krish Maharaj and Michelle Gallant.”
This year, all negotiation competitions were conducted virtually and the students had to adapt to the virtual environment since all previous negotiation experience had been in person. “It was a challenge,” Reanna states. “But thanks to great coaching and teamwork we managed to navigate through it. It was a great learning experience.”
Menal Al Fekih believes that her active listening training to become a peer counsellor during her undergrad helped hone her negotiation skills. Reanna believes that her experiences as an advocate for students at the University of Manitoba helped make her a successful negotiator. Both students believe that their experiences will assist them greatly in the future. “In developing our negotiation skills, we developed other skills including teamwork, communication and problem solving,” Reanna says.
Menal echoed this sentiment adding that, “the experience gave us the opportunity to learn and grow” and that “it was fantastic!” According to Reanna, her “experience negotiating at Robson Hall was one of the best experiences of her law degree.”
The Faculty of Law is very proud of these two women and wishes them all the very best.