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Together We Are: Advocating for Equality and Celebrating Mediterranean Heritage

Prof. Olga Nickole Kuyan

25 Nov 2021

Proud to be Campaign

Living and working in different parts of the world, I have sometimes been posed with the question „how come you choose to live and work here with no prior connection to the country?
“As an evasive answer, I tried to subscribe to the ideas that I am a "mobile researcher", a "world citizen", a "cultural amphibian" – someone who does not necessarily identify with a particular culture or territory, can live anywhere and integrate into other cultures with ease! However, in Sicily I have learnt to accept that I can do both: I can identify with and be proud of my background, as well as continue to integrate into different cultures. The environment of Palermo and Cefalu has contributed a great deal to this feeling. I want to do my bit to ensure that my colleagues, our collaborators/professionals and clients who come to Mediterranean jewel Sicily from diverse backgrounds feel the same way. This is why I chose to be a part of the Pontem 0921 at the Studio Legale Lauricella.

Mediterranean Unesco Heritage of Palermo and Cefalù bears witness to a particular political and cultural condition characterized by the fruitful coexistence of people of different origins (Muslim, Byzantine, Latin, Jewish, Lombard, and French). This interchange generated a conscious and unique combination of elements derived from the architectural and artistic techniques of Byzantine, Islamic, and Western traditions. This new style contributed to the developments in the Mediterranean Lifestyle of Sicily.
I am proud to be a part of it.

Pontem 0921 aims to reflect the cultural diversity of Mediterranean Heritage at all levels by working on the inclusion and retention of clients, lawyers/professionals from diverse backgrounds. An important part of this effort is to not just encourage diversity but take active steps to increase the diversity in the pool of clients, lawyers and collaborators that are interested in the Mediterranean. For this, it is essential to understand the extreme heterogeneity of the Sicilian scene – from the distribution and variety of productive sectors and local economic dimensions, to the geographical, cultural and linguistic varieties that results in an incredibly differentiated background.
A client/lawyer/professional/ may face various barriers in moving towards his/her goals in Sicily e.g., some its particular fields where the challenges of superdiversity appear to be more prominent: the impact on the school system, in terms of linguistic-cultural pluralism; the change in religious belonging and identities; the dynamics of cohesion/marginality in everyday life; and the relationship between spaces and identities in a superdiverse context.
I call it the „access problem“ and know it first hand. So,I aim to focus on this issue in my role as a member of the Pontem 0921 network.

At Studio Legale Lauricella we see inclusion as a core value of the firm and also of the law. To be the Sicilian law firm of choice in this area we need to be the leaders in this area, so our Studio Legale Diffuso strategy focuses on three pillars: in our firm, with our clients and in the world. We believe that if you have a commitment to inclusion you must be prepared to use your skills and influence to champion, campaign and work to deliver on your values. Our goal is to deliver an equality of opportunity, an equality of aspiration and an equality of experience in Sicily.

Integral Ecology and Mediterranean UNESCO Heritage have fast risen to the top of the agenda for our law firm.

At Pontem 0921 with the Project "Mehr Licht!--" Mediterranean Heritage Years will take place in Cefalu and across Sicily and will be an opportunity to recognise, celebrate and share the outstanding contributions the Mediterranean has made throughout history. It is also a time to spread mindfulness and understanding on the impact of Palermo and Cefalu heritage and culture Mediterranean Wide.

Launched by the Studio Legale Lauricella, Pontem 0921 begins as a way of remembering important people and sites in the history of Sicily.

Proud to be Campaign:

Pontem 0921 is launching the theme for 2022 year’s campaign 'Proud To Be'. Inspired by the 2021 Initiatives: Studio Legale Diffuso, Pontem, Porta, Pontem 0921 we encourage Mediterranean people to share what they are proud to be. The campaign aims to make Pontem 0921 personal and unique to individuals, families, communities and organisations/companies, focusing on how history is continuously being made.

Mediterranean heritage at Pontem 0921:

At Pontem 0921 we celebrate the culture, creativity and resilience of Mediterranean people, our Sicilian staff and partners throughout the Studio Legale Diffuso and beyond. Starting from November 2021, in the framework of the "Mehr Licht!--" Initiative we’ll be highlighting Mediterranean history including useful resources and materials.

We’ll also be shouting out Mediterranean people who have influenced, inspired and made a positive impact on our history.

If you would like to contribute to our Mediterranean Heritage celebration in any way please contact us (to contact).

While we have a long way to go in this direction, I am confident that as long as we play an active role in this process, we will be able to make a difference.

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