It is difficult to understand or process why events like what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, or Christian Cooper in New York City, and many others continue to take place today. Images from the protests across the country highlight the anger and frustration that so many feel about the systemic injustice that continues to exist. I was heartened to see people from all races and backgrounds join the peaceful protests and speak with a united voice.
While I am not a person of color and I have not faced the overt racism that still persists in this country, I am writing this message because as allies and advocates for equality and inclusion, we each have a responsibility to see what is happening around us, to listen to our friends who are suffering and experiencing racism and bias every day, to learn from the past, to fight for equality and justice, to ask “why” and speak out when our friends, neighbors, and fellow human beings are victims of injustice. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said,
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
At Nixon Peabody, diversity and inclusion are core values— whether we are in the office or working remotely. It is important for all of us to educate ourselves on the issues these events have raised, and to listen to our colleagues of color as they share their experiences with us. We will continue to dedicate resources and time to engaging in discussions (even virtually) about creating a more inclusive, equitable organization and world, even as we live through this global pandemic.
As global citizens, and especially members of the legal profession, it is incumbent upon all of us to fight for equality and ensure that our justice system is fair and serving the public, which includes everyone. We will explore new pro bono opportunities focused on civil rights and social justice reform.
I am proud of Nixon Peabody’s emphasis on equality and inclusion, but creating a more inclusive and equitable organization is something we must work on every single day. We are committed and ready to do that work and will continue to seek opportunities to learn and grow. Now is the time for everyone to come together to fight for equality and stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues in the African American community.