Abisola Omotayo, alumna

Which aspect of Black history, be it a person, event or movement, would you like people to learn about this year?

I would like people to learn about the British 1919 race riots, and the murder of Charles Wotten, also known as Wootton. I would also like people to learn more about the widespread racism and discrimination faced by black servicemen and black workers after the end of the First World War in Britain.

Who are your BME role models and why?

Being so closely positioned geographically to the United States, I followed the recent US election closely. I have an interest in voter suppression in America, and the disproportionate impact it has had on black voters historically, and today. Stacey Abrams is one of my role models because of her tireless work in the 2019 US election, to ensure that numerous minority voters were registered and heard at the polls.

What would racial equality look like to you?

Racial equality would mean challenging the status quo and having equal opportunity for all – irrespective of racial background. Ensuring that minority voices are heard in a meaningful way in society, and not through tokenism, as well as improving diversity in representation would be steps towards achieving racial equality.

What have you gone on to do since graduation?

I worked in London for two years until the summer of 2016. I was working at a law firm specialising in charity law at the time, and had an opportunity to study for a Masters in Law at the University of Toronto on a scholarship. I decided to pursue the one-year LLM which started in September 2016, focusing on discrimination law, mental health law, international human rights law and international criminal law. I loved the experience of studying and living in Toronto and have lived in Canada ever since.

I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, in the spring of 2018 and worked in social justice law, practising human rights law, mental health law, and community law at a non-profit law firm for approximately two years. Currently, I work as a litigator specialising in family law and child protection law.

What’s your abiding memory of Trinity Hall?

My abiding memories of Trinity Hall centre on the more simple moments. I remember sitting on the Trinity Hall wall with my friends in summer, overlooking the River Cam and being blown away by how beautiful the College and surrounding scenery are. I also remember relaxing on Latham Lawn with friends during the hotter months. I made some of my closest friends while studying at Trinity Hall and remain close to those friends today.

Why did you choose to study your subject?

I chose to study law because of its breadth, and the fact that it affects so many different areas of our daily life. I wanted to study a subject with international application, which would leave me open to qualify as a lawyer, or work in related fields such as for the civil service, or to do foreign policy work.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell her to trust herself and follow her dreams – life always has a way of working out.