Stay up to date by subscribing to our blog. Add your e-mail address to the Subscribe box on the right to get our timely posts delivered directly to your inbox.
Justin A. Chiarodo, Dominique L. Casimir, and Krystal Studavent Ramsey ●
We are thrilled to kick off our new Government Contracts Navigator blog series, “Sustained Action: DEI in Government Contracting,” which shines a light on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and progress in the government contracts industry and at Blank Rome. As we wrote back in 2020, working to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion is not a one-time exercise but a practice—one to which we are committed for the long run.
We approach this effort fully embracing that we bring our own backgrounds, journeys, and perspectives to a complicated area, and that fostering an environment of mutual respect and the free exchange of ideas is critical to promoting the understanding of different viewpoints and implementing solutions that make a difference.
“Sustained Action” is our next step in this journey. This post focuses on our recent participation in the American Bar Association Public Contract Law Section’s (“ABA PCL”) 10 Day Tune Up, and other initiatives we are driving at Blank Rome in 2023. The 10 Day Tune Up was a follow-up program to the successful 2020 program that we wrote about previously, the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge© (“21-Day Challenge”).
ABA PCL 10-Day Tune Up:
As we wrote in September 2020, the 21-Day Challenge provided participants with a syllabus of 21 daily assignments—curated for the ABA by our partner and co-chair of the Blank Rome’s General Litigation practice Dominique Casimir—focusing on the intersection between systemic racism and the legal profession. Members of the ABA PCL, including many of our lawyers and clients, participated in weekly discussion group sessions to share perspectives on the assigned reading and to think broadly about what it means to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Speaking candidly about such matters in a professional setting was a unique experience, and we were humbled by the enthusiastic and positive response from so many of our clients.
In late 2022, the ABA PCL invited Dominique, a vice-chair of the ABA PCL Diversity Committee, to update the syllabus for a follow-up program, the 10-Day Tune Up. Like the 21-Day Challenge, the aim of the 10-Day Tune Upwas to work through a syllabus of 10 daily assignments focused on racial equity, both historically and in the modern workplace and legal industry.
As before, participants joined discussion groups to share what resonated with them, what they are seeing in their own organizations, and to share ideas for continuing to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. For anyone who would like to complete the syllabus on their own, it is publicly available here. We also welcome the opportunity to partner with organizations that are interested in hosting the tune up for their teams.
Blank Rome DEI Initiatives for 2023:
Our long record of achievement for our clients is built upon our commitment to certain core client service principles: fostering strong client relationships; substantive excellence; engagement and collaboration; and investing in diverse teams. We’ve seen time and again that diverse teams drive effective problem solving, strengthen teamwork, promote innovation, and lead to superior client service.
To advance these objectives, Blank Rome has developed a comprehensive approach to DEI, which includes the following initiatives:
- 2022 inaugural DEI Summit, “Intentional About Inclusion,” focusing on strengthening relationships between Blank Rome’s diverse attorneys and our clients and networks;
- “BR Advance,” a professional development program targeting new and emerging firm leaders, including programs specific to women lawyers of color;
- Several firmwide affinity groups, which provide opportunities for networking and exchange of ideas; and,
- An updated supplier program reflective of our local communities.
We look forward to sharing more insights about DEI initiatives and activities at Blank Rome in the next installment of our “Sustained Action” series, and welcome perspectives from our readers on how we can continue to advance positive progress in this important arena.
Please subscribe in the box on the right to receive these updates right in your inbox!