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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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Groups commit to taking action to address racial bias

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and WASHINGTON – With a commitment to spur change that addresses racial disparities underscored by the killing of George Floyd while in police custody, SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), through its Foundation, both pledged to move beyond statements and to take action on racial bias in the workplace.

Today, SHRM and ACC announced a first-of-its-kind alliance between Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) and Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) as allies for change. The alliance will offer opportunities for CHROs and CLOs to examine existing workplace policies and create an open space to foster genuine, crucial exchanges among employees in order to drive understanding, respect, and empathy as the foundation for real and sustainable change toward more inclusive workplaces.  

As part of this effort, the organizations will host a two-part webinar series available to members and non-members that address race relations in the workplace and offer opportunities for HR and legal professionals to learn and improve diversity and inclusion efforts.

“Racism is still rampant in America’s workplaces. It has never stopped,” said SHRM President and CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP. “I am not talking about ‘microaggressions,’ or unconscious bias in hiring and promotion. Routine abuse, threats and racial epithets are still happening with depressing regularity in the workplace. Organizations need to put more resources into their inclusion and diversity efforts and it is not the job of the Chief Diversity Officer alone. CHROs and general counsels have an important role to play.”

“The death of George Floyd and other African Americans killed at the hands of police, again put into stark contrast the depth and breadth of racial disparities and discrimination in our communities,” said Veta T. Richardson, ACC President and CEO. “Just as we cannot simply return to ‘normal’ in our communities, we cannot also simply return to ‘business as usual’ in our workplaces. That is why ACC, as the leading global association for chief legal officers and their teams, is delighted to partner with SHRM, the world leader for chief human resource officers and HR professionals. We are committed to work with SHRM as an ally for change, to empower the thousands of individuals and organizations within our collective memberships to strengthen their workplaces and address the critical issues of the day.”

SHRM and ACC will host the first of their two-part webinar series titled “A New Understanding of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion,” Thursday, June 18. The second webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 25.

For more information on the SHRM, ACC alliance, or to participate in the upcoming webinars, please email Rockhelle Johnson ([email protected]) or Dan Weber ([email protected]).

About SHRM: SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at SHRM.org and on Twitter @SHRM.

About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking, and advocacy. With more than 45,000 members in 85 countries employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.  

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