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NSBS welcomes Angela Simmonds as new Equity & Access Manager

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Angela Simmonds

Angela Simmonds, a dedicated advocate for social justice in the province, is the new Equity & Access Manager at the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, effective June 11. Throughout her career and education, she has worked to address barriers and systemic discrimination, and to enhance inclusion, equity and access for racialized people and marginalized communities.

“We are very fortunate to have Angela as part of our team,” said Tilly Pillay QC, Executive Director of the Society. “Her skills, background and experience will greatly assist us in moving the Society’s equity and access to justice agendas forward.” 

Angela is recognized as a leader in community engagement, most recently from her work on the Land Titles Clarification Initiative, which now includes funding for five African Nova Scotian communities. In 2014, the Society hired Angela to carry out a community-based research and engagement project that led to collaborations with key provincial and municipal stakeholders. For her continuing efforts on this project and her “commitment to human rights”, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission honoured her in 2017 with its Dr. Burnley Allan “Rocky” Jones Award.

Raised in Cherry Brook, Angela currently resides in North Preston with her husband of 19 years and their three children. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the Schulich School of Law, where she was co-recipient of the Judge Corrine Sparks Award, and recipient of the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service’s Sarah MacWalker MacKenzie Clinical Law Award.

“I enjoyed working with the Society in the past, and having the opportunity to work with lawyers and community leaders who came together to create necessary changes within a long-established system,” Angela said about her new post. “Changes happen when people come together with respect, dignity and an understanding of one another’s differences. I am proud to be joining such a profession, and very excited to be joining the management team at NSBS.”

Her talent for combining legal knowledge with community connection is a solid foundation for Angela’s work ahead on the NSBS priorities to enhance access to legal services and the justice system, and to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. This will include strategic initiatives to advance cultural competence and respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, among other projects.   

Prior work experience includes the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, YMCA of Halifax-Dartmouth and Halifax Regional School Board. Angela has presented at the Michaëlle Jean Foundation’s National Black Canadians Summit, and before a United Nations expert panel to discuss issues relating to the Land Titles Clarification Act.  

She is a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition. We wish her a warm welcome.

(Photo credit: Rachael Kelly, Schulich School of Law)