College Columns June 2021 - Page 10

Why should any Fellow Care about DE & I ? Because It ’ s Who We Are

Hon . Laurel Isicoff and Hon . Jeffery Hopkins
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To develop a comprehensive plan that instills mindfulness regarding all aspects of diversity , equity and inclusion , and actively promotes those values through the resources and endeavors of the College and Foundation .
In October 2020 , the College determined to form a Select Commission on Diversity , Equity and Inclusion . We were given the honor of co-chairing this Commission , joined by a group of 14 of our College thought leaders . 1 While our formal mission charges us to bring an interim and final report to the College over the coming year , we are a group committed to action . Our three subcommittees have been meeting regularly , and over the next year we will reach out to you from time to time to work with us on the mission with which we have been charged , while helping and encouraging you to use your leverage and influence to move the College forward in its goals to further expand the College ’ s multidimensional diversity while maintaining its highest professional standards .
In the next few weeks you will be asked to complete an anonymous survey . It will only take you a few minutes to complete but the information you provide will be critical for us . You will also be hearing from us on proposals to examine and reconsider the procedures that we have set up to select our fellows and select our College Leadership , how we define our “ multi-dimensional diversity ,” as well as invitations to act , think , and listen , as we did in our initial message to you with the Awadagin Pratt podcast . 2 We who practice our craft in this field and by our very election as Fellows in this prestigious institution have an innate tendency to want to rebuild , restructure , reconstitute , restore , redeem , retool , reclaim , and indeed reform that which we find broken , whether it be in the business or individual matters we are assigned or in our society at large , as reflected on your “ Part B ” of the nomination form for admission to the College . We will be providing you the opportunity to bring that energy to this mission and to radiate that energy outwards .
In today ’ s article we will focus on one challenge - no , invitation - proposed by our Action Subcommittee - Mentorship and Sponsorship .
Co-chair Jeffery Hopkins ’ s early life has been captured in a video project labeled Pathways to the Bench available on the federal court ’ s website and YouTube , among other sites . In the Pathways to the Bench video Judge Hopkins talked about mentoring and how important it has been in his career . Mentoring can be done in very many ways by busy Fellows with only a small investment of time . We are engaged in professions that are far more than businesses — we are guardians of traditions and ideals . Beyond the billable hour and beyond a desire to gain market share , we must as Fellows take an interest in persons younger , more diverse — and probably ( but not always ) less fortunate than we are — because we are so privileged and so blessed to do what we do .
A second undertaking that we as Fellows can do is sponsorship . Former ABI president and current commissioner , Richardo I . Kilpatrick , calls this “ expanding your Rolodex .” We Fellows are at a point in our careers where