September 23, 2020
Message from Chapter President Tamara Jack (CLO & CFO, LMI)
On June 18, 2020, I issued a statement that black lives matter and committing to “deliberate, consistent, and persistent action to (i) fight explicit racism; (ii) unlearn the habits and dismantle the structures that support and perpetuate systemic racism and all forms of discrimination, including that based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, immigration status, and disability within our chapter, the organizations where we work, and in our community; and (iii) build a culture of equity and inclusion.” I summarized our history of action and highlighted plans for more.
Three months have passed and it is time to provide an update.
RECENT ACTIONS TAKEN
· 2020 Corporate Scholars Program
We concluded our 17th ACC NCR Corporate Scholars program, which placed 12 fantastic law students with local legal departments for a ten-week paid internship. In addition to facilitating these placements throughout a pandemic, ACC NCR hosted two substantive programs dedicated to the interns and their professional development. The interns and their unique experience were recently featured in an ACC Docket article. Click here to read more.
· 2020 President’s Roundtable
On July 7, I convened the 2020 President’s Roundtable on the topic of diversity and inclusion and invited general counsel and chief legal officers with a demonstrated commitment to advancing both within their departments, companies, and/or the community to discuss how the chapter can support them and empower all of our members to do more, as well as how the chapter itself can improve. The conversation was inspiring, but more importantly, those in attendance produced a list of potential action items and committed to ongoing engagement with the chapter and action on this topic.
· Implicit Bias + Debiasing Program
On August 13, ACC NCR and Gold Sponsor Shook, Hardy & Bacon hosted a roundtable for members on Implicit Bias + Debiasing, featuring SHB Partners and Co-Chairs of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee John Lewis Jr. and Buffy Mims, and Vice President and General Counsel of BIC LaTanya Langley. The materials are available here.
· Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Forum
ACC NCR re-launched our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Forum, co-chaired by board members Constantine Athanas (General Counsel, Davis Construction) and Stephanie Gilliard (Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel -Virginia, Colonial Downs). The first orders of business were: (i) expanding the name of the forum to include equity, (ii) continuing work on the forum’s mission statement, and (iii) creating four subcommittees, each with their own co-chairs and eight or more volunteer members:
• Programming and Education
• Leadership Development
• Advocacy and Convener
• Metrics and Measurement
Each subcommittee is developing its plans, which we will report on in future updates.
IN THE WORKS
· In-House Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference
On November 13, 8:00 am – 12:30 pm, ACC NCR, along with Gold Sponsor Quarles & Brady, will host its first online conference, featuring programs on (i) replicable and proven practices for in-house counsel and departments and (ii) measuring diversity, equity, and inclusion while managing risk. In addition, attendees will learn about opportunities to engage with the chapter and outside resources, as well as have an opportunity to network with their peers.
· DEI Advisory Board
Based on the enthusiasm and expertise shared during the President’s Roundtable, the chapter has formed a DEI Advisory Board and will convene its first meeting on October 22.
· Best Foot Forward
Earlier that day, ACC NCR will co-host the pilot Best Foot Forward program with the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) and the ACC Foundation. The Best Foot Forward program will provide resume writing and presentation tips to law students during an interactive program. Panelists will include attorneys, a human resource professional, and a professional recruiter. ACC members will be asked to volunteer to conduct follow-up resume reviews for interested students.
· 2021 Corporate Scholars Program
Preparations are underway to open the application period for the Corporate Scholars Program, for both the Class of 2021 and host departments. The announcement will be made shortly.
As I said previously, these steps are a start, but we know they are not enough as racism and discrimination are deeply embedded in our history and the ways in which we operate. To join us in this work or to send us suggestions, please email email@example.com.
President, ACC NCR
Chief Legal Officer & Chief Financial Officer, LMI
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