Talk About Diversity with Shayna Beeksma

Sophia sits down with Shayna Beeksma of Beeksma Law to discuss the current, tough social climate. Many in our communities are struggling with the anxiety of what to say to whom, especially with regard to race, gender, and sexual orientation. So we discuss how to be a compassionate, kind person who is inherently flawed.

Because that’s the truth… We are all flawed. We are all ignorant of what we don’t know. But it is always possible to learn. Even if you put your foot in your mouth, you can recover. Here’s how:

1. Shut up. Do not dismiss the other person’s feelings. Instead, listen. You will not learn by being dismissive, explaining their feelings away, or cutting them off.
2. Do not interpret the other person’s feelings as an attack on you. Their feelings are a result of their lived experience, which you are not responsible for.
3. While you are responsible for what you say, you can choose how you respond. You can say sorry. You can politely say that you don’t agree. You can say absolutely nothing and just listen.

I repeat: do not dismiss the other person’s feelings. Their feelings are real for them. They are not wrong, though they might be different from yours. I’m sure you have had your fair share of freakouts on family, friends, and strangers when you’ve had a bad day and people were not taking that into consideration because they didn’t know. Remember that you never know what someone else has been through and be kind.

You do not need to know what is the right thing to say. As you learn, you’ll be able to be an advocate for people when given the opportunity.

ontario lawyer Shayna Beeksma

Shayna A. Beeksma is an award-winning lawyer and the founder of Beeksma Law. She received her J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2012, and she founded Beeksma Law in 2018.

A passionate innovator and entrepreneur, Shayna’s main practice area is in estates law (comprised of estate litigation, estate administration and estate planning), while also incorporating business law (including not-for-profit law), real estate law, commercial leasing, construction law and general civil litigation into her practice.

While her clients value her knowledge, experience and legal skills, it’s her firm’s customer-centric approach that sets Beeksma Law apart.

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Talk About Diversity with Shayna Beeksma