BlackNorth Initiative

Lincoln Alexander School of Law announces BlackNorth Initiative scholarships to strengthen Black representation in the legal sector

Lincoln Alexander School of Law announces BlackNorth Initiative scholarships to strengthen Black representation in the legal sector March 22, 2022

Five first-year law students will receive renewable scholarships.

Kafela Campbell, Stacey Newman, Shardaine Rowe Brown, and Shaun Shepherd are the first four students to be named as scholarship recipients. The BlackNorth Initiative (BNI), which works with businesses to remove systemic barriers that negatively impact the lives of Black Canadians, is collaborating with the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University to launch 5 renewable scholarships.

The scholarships are being awarded to first-year Lincoln Alexander Law students who identify as Black and demonstrate high academic potential, financial need, and a commitment to their community. Students will receive financial support over the course of their three years of study. The fifth scholarship recipient will be named later this spring.

“We are proud to collaborate with the Lincoln Alexander School of Law to create these scholarships for Black law students,” says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative. “By supporting these emerging leaders and change-makers, we are able to meaningfully strengthen diversity and foster inclusion in the legal profession.”

Shardaine Rowe Brown, first-year law student and scholarship recipient chose the Lincoln Alexander School of Law because of its mission to expand access to justice.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the BlackNorth Initiative for this opportunity. This scholarship has lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus on the most important aspect of law school: learning,” says Rowe Brown.

For Shaun Shepherd, a first-year law student committed to community-level activism, the scholarship has reconfirmed his value in the legal space. “My sense of purpose and drive have received an immense boost,” says Shepherd.

“We are grateful for this generous investment in our students, and we look forward to building this partnership to include additional learning and mentorship opportunities in the future,” says Donna E. Young, Founding Dean of the Lincoln Alexander School of Law. Young notes that BlackNorth’s mission to change the face of Corporate Canada aligns well with the law school’s efforts to equip emerging lawyers with diverse skills and perspectives to make the legal profession more equitable and accessible.

BlackNorth Initiative Founder, Wes Hall, is a generous supporter of Ryerson University. In 2020, he established the Wes Hall Social Entrepreneurs Initiative. Last fall, Hall received an Honorary Doctorate from Ryerson University in recognition of his many accomplishments including his pioneering efforts to launch the BlackNorth Initiative.

The Lincoln Alexander School of Law’s JD program features an academically rigorous Integrated Practice Curriculum and a collaborative co-teaching model, which pairs exceptional faculty and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds and perspectives. The curriculum includes a focus on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and equips students with a practical understanding of how these tools can be used to address societal challenges and expand the reach of justice. Many of the law school’s faculty are members of equity-deserving groups – making it among the most diverse law schools in the country.

About BlackNorth Initiative
The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business-first mindset. We are committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. To learn more, visit

About Lincoln Alexander School of Law
The Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University is reimagining legal education in pursuit of a more just society. Our mission is to equip the lawyers of tomorrow with the contemporary skills and experience required to expand the reach of justice and respond to the evolving challenges that face Canadian society. To learn more, visit

Media contacts:
Ikram Farah
Consultant, Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Irina Vukosavic
PR & Communications Specialist, Ryerson University