Fact sheets

Racialized Communities Strategy

Legal Aid Ontario is talking to clients and the community agencies that serve them to build upon our services and supports to better help with the legal needs of racialized communities.

What do we mean by racialized communities?

Racialized communities refer to all people who do not consider themselves to be white.

We used to say “visible minorities” to refer to people who were non-white or non-European in ancestry, but increasingly, there are many places where people of colour make up the majority of the population.

Over the past 20 years, there has been an overrepresentation of racialized communities in the justice system.

(First Nation, Métis and Inuit people are not considered racialized. To learn more about LAO’s Aboriginal Justice Strategy, visit legalaid.on.ca/AJS.)

What are the aims of the strategy?

A strategy will allow LAO to:

  • better understand the needs of racialized clients so they can access a range of legal and social services
  • develop processes that reflect a better understanding of how being racialized affects a client’s experience in the legal system
  • provide more supports to service providers
  • create a plan that ensures our staff understand how the experiences of racialized communities impacts clients.

What questions are we asking?

  • What is or isn’t working well in terms of LAO’s rules and processes?

  • Are there any types of legal issues that impact your community for which there are no legal aid services available?

  • Are there ways in which legal aid services are provided that limit their effectiveness to your community?

  • Are there other agencies or people that we should speak with?

Next steps

We’ll be talking to:

  • justice and social service partners
  • communities
  • lawyers
  • community service providers
  • legal clinics
  • professional associations
  • government agencies
  • LAO staff

During the first year, we will identify ways we can enhance our services to better help racialized communities.


For more information or to request a meeting or provide written feedback, please contact:

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Racialized Communities Strategy
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