Who Is Malik Leigh?
I am a Lawyer, Social Justice Advocate, Law Teacher, FinTech and HealthcareTech Startup CEO..in other words, I'm a "Black" Professional in America. My perspective on social justice matters is often adversarial to ALL sides.
Black people, Indigenous Tribal Communities, and Afro-Latinos have it BAD in America. We always have. And I don't accept the conditions that people are only recently coming to terms with since the murder of George Floyd. In many ways, because we have never FORCEFULLY pushed back in a way that put emphasis on our right to be treated as human beings, my approach is to simply remove yourself from the cancer; we can't seem to remove the cancer from ourselves.
Since becoming an attorney in 2010, I, along with my law partner and best friend, dedicated our first 8 years to the service of others. I've always been community services minded. But one thing I learned is that the professional community, I.E. fellow lawyers in South Florida are actually hostile towards those that seek this path. Oddly enough, so does the judiciary.
But, I will always be an advocate. I have been doing it since I was 13 years old. From facing down school bullies for smaller weaker kids, to challenging unfair treatment in class.
This will never change.
I am a Single "Black Father," who has raised an amazing and beautiful young woman in a country that is racist, sexist, and religiously intolerant.
All I do in my personal and professional life is done with her in mind. While she was growing up, I tried to instill in her the knowledge that America is NOT her friend like it isn't for so many others. I taught her that not all women share her interests, and though "you are the YOU that you make, many will still purposefully get in your way."
Some think that this was a negative approach. However, I couldn't be more proud of the woman she has become. She is my legacy, and her success is my responsibility. The hostilities she faces now, and faces in the future, she will be prepared.
I am a Mentor, Role Model, and Positive Representative of "black" (in america) men and men of colour for young people to see and hopefully emulate.
I am painfully aware that in the United States, or even the greater "western" society, men of colour; or more specifically, Black Men, come in 2 varieties: Stereotypical and those that bucked the stereotypical; sadly, this is the reality.
The truth is Black Men and Black Fathers are the most attentive human beings in this entire country, yet, the idea that black men produce mostly fatherless families or are so absentee that they alone are the problems that prevent black americans from "coming up" is a falsehood that even many black people ignorantly believe. I am one who seeks the dismantling of all forces that prevent our collective progress.
I grew up Loving and Appreciating Education, but sadly, I live in an area where the community, school district, and many of the black educators do not care about the educational needs of children of colour.
I have always been critical of american teachers. Let's be honest, the American Education System is terrible. After volunteering at a local majority-minority school for a year and a half, I was asked to become a full-time law teacher. I did. Almost immediately, I realized that they were using special needs children to collect medicare dollars for the district, forcing teachers to change grades to maintain school rankings, allowed people to abuse special needs children without punishment, promoted under-education of children of colour, and in some cases, actually stole money from students!
I could not stand by and allow this to happen, and as a result, did what I could to make sure MY students were educated to the best of my ability. I made them aware of the quality of education they were receiving was sub-par in comparison to their cross town white rivals and they reacted. The school district denied full time teachers and my students wanted to know how that affected them. Teaching a law class, I told them, and how legally, the school had a responsibility to educate them. So they challenged the school district with their parents beside them, and now, apparently, I'm the enemy. (to the school district... my kids and their parents love me!)