Though only seven years old when we immigrated to Canada, the thought of revisiting my homeland, Guyana, has never suggested itself since departure. When I allow myself to consider why, I realize that I have intentionally suppressed every opportunity for it to return, even with the knowledge that the visit would be temporary. The idea alone invites flashback upon flashback, all unpleasant.
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I still remember that night so vividly—it was 30 am, October 14th, 2002. Bullets from every angle, shattering the peace of the night as window panes crashed inwards and bullets became our bedmates. I remember barely daring to open my eyes, dreading the damage. My father lay on the ground helplessly, his arm the picture of carnage. Next to him, a pistol, shell casings spilt across the floor. I watched as my mother, a strong, competent woman of the subcontinent, cry as she ran to help him. Thankfully the next morning brought the light of good news. My father would survive his injuries.
As my father began to recover in the following days, one thing became overwhelmingly clear. Our family could not remain in Guyana. Typical of the country, the shooting was never properly investigated and no charges ever made. Canada presented itself as an idyllic refuge for immigrants to seek a better life and raise children. This migration to North America is how my law journey began.
I'm often asked "why law school?" Why this career, that requires long hours and essay upon essay and research until you're bleary eyed, when there are so many other options. It was simple. have a responsibility, as a son and as a victim of a blatantly ignored act of violence, to honour the incredible sacrifices my parents have made and contribute to the prevention of mishandled and un-prosecuted cases. My parents worked 14-hours a day and seven days a week when we first moved to Canada. Their sacrifices have been endless, all to allow me to pursue my dreams. Beyond that, no matter how cliche, seeking justice for individuals that receive little to no assistance and are often marginalized has always been a worthy cause to me.
Harvard University - MA Candidate
NWCU - JD Candidate