Wpg Free Press: U of M grad funds scholarship for Black law students
David Sowemimo always dreamed of becoming a lawyer.
He dreamed about it as a young boy in Nigeria. He dreamed about it when he came to the University of Manitoba as an international student when he was 17. He dreamed about it when he ultimately majored in labour studies for his undergrad degree, and he still dreamed about when he moved to Calgary to work in the insurance industry….
Working today as an injury lawyer in Edmonton, Sowemimo, 35, realized his dream. And now, he wants to help other Black students realize theirs.
The new David Sowemimo Law Entrance Scholarship is a $6,000 scholarship that will be awarded annually to a Black undergraduate student enrolled full time in the juris doctor degree program in the Faculty of Law at the U of M. It’s the first scholarship of its kind at the university.
Sowemimo always wanted to create a scholarship to encourage Black students to pursue a law career, as soon as he became established as a lawyer. But 2020 felt like precisely the right time to get the ball rolling in many ways, Sowemimo says. The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the Black Lives Matter protests it sparked the world over put a renewed focus on Black rights.
“I thought it was the best time to put it together to raise some awareness on the lack of diversity in the legal profession,” he says.