Public Announcements

 

A Change is Gonna Come

 

 

A Change is Gonna Come

“… It’s been a long time coming,

but I know a change is gonna come,

oh yes it will.”

Sam Cooke (1931-1964)

As leaders of legal workplaces and organizations, who want to be successful, we cannot ignore that change is here.  For some of us, the change has been here for years and for others it is truly on the way.  It is no longer a nice proposition to say that “yes, we probably should make a results-driven commitment to diversity and inclusion, but we really don’t see a need or that we are not ready.”  Sam Cooke sang about change coming in the future.  Well, the future is now and change has arrived.  That is why it’s critical to have a solid understanding of Diversity in the 21st Century and Inclusion in the year 2016 and beyond.

The world in which we live and the leadership responsibilities each of us have in legal administration, is in a time of change.  This is why the ALA is working to make sure everyone understands why diversity is important and how each of us can do a better job bringing diversity and inclusion to our lives and to the workplace.  The statistic that by the year 2032 Caucasians will be a minority race – and some predict there will not be a clear racial majority in the United States, should propel all of us to understand why businesses of all types must pursue diverse talent and achieve real inclusion.  Success beyond today and into tomorrow demands it.

Who better to encourage change in our respective law firms and legal departments than members of the ALA?  For each of us to play this critical role, we must know the many dimensions of diversity beyond what we learned twenty years ago and understand why Andrés Tapia coined the phrase “Diversity is the mix and Inclusion is making the mix work,” and Vern? Myers has developed the notion that “Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance.”  It is not enough nor a guarantee for success, to only reach the goal of diversity as defined by the EEOC.  While that is part of the equation, Inclusion is the key to long-term success.

The ALA’s Committee on Diversity & Inclusion is here to help each of you.  We have developed tools and resources from a Tool Kit, Mentoring Guide, Tip Sheets, Speaker Lists, Podcasts, to Scorecards.  The two Scorecards (one entitled: ALA’s Scorecard on Diversity & Inclusion – A Roadmap to Change for ALA Chapters and Law Office Administrators) provide true step-by-step roadmaps with resources of how to be a “change agent” and leader in Diversity & Inclusion.  We are here as your partners in making sure that our Chapters and member Firms and Legal Departments thrive into the future.  Go to www.alanet.org/diversity/ you will find the above-listed resources (and more) there at your fingertips. 

It was my utmost pleasure to have been invited to present ALA’s Diversity 60 Tips to the Richmond Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA Richmond).  I found everyone to be engaged and welcoming of ALA’s Mission on Diversity & Inclusion in the legal community, and the activities of its Committee on Diversity & Inclusion.  The leadership challenges faced by each of us are real and not easily met, but together we can meet those challenges! 

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the World.”   The ALA is here to assist. 

By:      Jenniffer A. Brown

Chair, ALA Committee on Diversity & Inclusion and

Firm Administrator for Weiner, Millo, Morgan & Bonanno, LLC

220 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor

New York, NY 10001

jbrown@wmmblawfIrm.com