Diversity at the Detroit Bar
DETROIT BAR ASSOCIATION COMMITMENT TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION
We, members and directors of the Detroit Bar Association, play a critical role in ensuring that diversity and inclusion is core to our Association.
We have a responsibility to advocate for and engender a profession that welcomes all practitioners who are representative of the communities we serve.
We believe that diversity and inclusion must be considered when we seek to attract, educate, train, retain, mentor, and promote diverse attorneys to leadership positions within Michigan bar associations, firms, agencies, organizations, and the judiciary.
We believe that advancing diversity and inclusion raises the bar for our entire profession.
We encourage all of our members to practice with and share the perspective of each’s “whole self”—race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, religion, age, veteran status, marital/parental/caregiver status, socioeconomic status, and all other characteristics that reflect the member’s uniqueness— so that we can learn from one another.
We believe that our partnerships with K-12 schools, colleges, and law schools are fundamental to establishing a pipeline conducive to enhancement of diversity and inclusion within our profession, and we are committed to attracting and encouraging diverse students to choose the practice of law as a profession—especially prospective first-generation lawyers.
We recognize that we are not experts; but we commit to be a resource for and to collaborate with any law firm, corporate legal department, judicial office, government agency, or partner bar association that seeks to enhance its diversity and inclusion commitments.
Therefore, we commit to take steps to act on these beliefs and to promote diversity and inclusion within the Detroit Bar Association and our profession.
23 in ’23 Diversity and Inclusion Challenge
Thank you to all that have participated in the Detroit Bar Association 22 in ’22 Diversity & Inclusion Challenge.
We had some great open discussions on what we have learned, changes we can make and ways to celebrate our diversity. We encourage you to continue, or anyone else to start, the Challenge and ask you to follow the link below to the Challenge PDF for ‘23. The 23 in ‘23 Challenge is brought to you in partnership between the Detroit Bar Association and Ingham County Bar Association.
CONTINUE THE CHALLENGE: Download the PDF
WATCH THE CHECK-IN WEBINAR: 23 in ’23 Diversity Challenge Check-in Webinar, April 24, 2023
RESOURCE: Detroit Bar Diversity and Inclusion 2023 Calendar (PDF)
WEBINAR: “Pathways to the Bench” — passcode: 89&$E%KE
MESSAGE: “A Day of Service and Reflection” sent prior to MLK Day 2022
SERIES: State Bar of Michigan – Unconscious Decision-Making Beginning December 4
WEBINAR: Creating a Transformative Model of 21st Century Policing with Ike McKinnon
ARTICLE: How to Advance Diversity and Inclusion in a Social Distancing World by Zenell Brown
ARTICLE: Diversity and Inclusion at the Detroit Bar by Tiffany Ellis
Dear Members of the Detroit Bar Association:
Over the last few months we have witnessed the consequences of long-standing and unchecked institutional racism unfold in our country. The senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others have deeply angered us and reminded our nation that these events are not new phenomena. They are the result of an ongoing and systemic problem that cannot continue.
The Detroit Bar Association and Foundation stand in solidarity with organizations within our community and throughout the nation that are fighting to end systemic and explicit racism. We recognize that as members of the Detroit legal community we have a responsibility to create a more diverse and inclusive legal community that is well equipped to fight injustices. In recognition of this important responsibility, in the fall of 2019 our organizations took the first of many steps in realizing this goal by creating the Detroit Bar Association and Foundation’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
As stated in The Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion adopted by our Boards, the Detroit Bar Association and Foundation believe:
… advancing diversity and inclusion raises the bar for the entire profession and we encourage our members to practice with their “whole self” – race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, religion, age, veteran status, marital/parental/caregiver status, socioeconomic status, and any other characteristic that makes a lawyer uniquely experienced to bring perspective so we can learn from one another.
While our stated commitment to creating a more inclusive and diverse legal community is important, we recognize that this is only an initial step, among many needed, to confront racial injustice. We also realize that as members of the legal community, we are not powerless to fight for real change. In the coming weeks and months, we will work to connect with you and bring you opportunities and initiatives to help our community combat inequality and injustice.
In the meantime, the Detroit Bar Association welcomes and values your input. Overcoming the institution of racism, which stands in stark opposition to our values, will require diverse perspectives and commitment and action from all of our members. Now, more than ever, we must act as a community. Please send us your ideas about what the Detroit Bar Association should be doing and how you may want to contribute, by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.