Roshelle Sparman-Small, current IIRP student and Impact Scholar recipient, has seen first-hand the inequities that exist in many poorer areas of the world when it comes to understanding and navigating legal systems. As an attorney admitted to the bars of Guyana and Barbados and co-founder/co-owner of Sparman and Small Virtual Advice Service, a pioneering an online startup law-tech firm, she is actively seeking to change that.
Roshelle began her career working as a legal aid attorney for two years across communities in Guyana. After emigrating to Barbados in 2021, her passion for creating educational legal content for under-served populations grew. This spurred her to further enhance her virtual platform to provide more public education in criminal justice.
From May to September 2021, she continued partnering with her husband to create and publish educational content for unrepresented defendants in the Village Voice News Guyana. In alignment with her firm’s mission to make essential professional services easily accessible to those who need them, she also began expanding her services, beyond legal to include graphic design and photography.
Roshelle has also become a member of the 2022-2023 cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs’ (AWE), a partnership between the United States Embassy in Barbados and the Barbados Youth Business Trust. Her membership in AWE has allowed her to connect with other women entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds interested in improving their own lives and the lives of others through the products and services they offer.
Roshelle chose the IIRP for her graduate education after discovering that it was the only school offering a Master of Science in Restorative Practices. After connecting with the IIRP Student Services team, she found that the courses offered would provide her with a world-class understanding of both restorative justice and restorative practices spanning the areas of law, criminal justice, and education, all of which aligns perfectly with her professional work.
Roshelle will be sharing her experiences by serving as a facilitator and panelist at the upcoming 2023 IIRP Online World Conference. Her session, The Impact Within, is scheduled for Thursday, January 26 from 11am-12pm EST.
Her experience attending last year’s World Conference caused her to feel more confident about using her voice to discuss issues that could be deemed polarizing or divisive. “I believe that different perspectives allow us to examine issues from different angles and see solutions in different contexts to better shape our world,” she explains. “I consider it quite an honor to share this space with other professionals and learners who are eager to find solutions or simply gain a better understanding of common issues plaguing our communities, such as violence, racism, racial inequalities, gender issues, climate change, and poverty.”