We seek to establish, maintain and communicate an inclusive work environment in which people of diverse backgrounds, outlooks and interest can share a commitment to our core ideals of professionalism, excellence and teamwork. We recognize that both the professional and personal rewards of our shared efforts are enhanced by the diversity that is fostered by this spirit of inclusion. We believe we work better among ourselves and in solving clients' problems when our team is made up of diverse individuals.
Our Inclusion Committee undertakes to focus the firm's efforts to have an environment that embraces individual differences and promotes the personal inclusion of all lawyers. The Committee's activities encompass:
- Ensuring that our spirit of inclusion is communicated internally and externally
- Welcoming new lawyers and fostering their personal involvement in the firm
- Supporting the firm's efforts to recruit, retain and develop lawyers with diverse backgrounds, outlooks and interests
- Evaluating and supporting opportunities to partner with others in the Bar and the community in diversity initiatives
A number of our lawyers have been personally engaged in promoting diversity in our communities. For example:
- Robert E. Harrington has served as the co-chair of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a leading national civil rights organization for lawyers established in 1963 by President Kennedy
- Julian H. Wright, Jr. served as chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Equity Committee from 2002-2007
- Angelique R. Vincent is an appointed member of the South Carolina State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights
- Charles E. Johnson serves on the Minorities in the Profession Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association
- Dianne Chipps Bailey works on the board of advisors for the Women's Intercultural Exchange
- Heidi E. Royal serves on the board of directors of the Charlotte Women's Bar
- Benjamin A. Johnson serves as counsel for Clinton Junior College, founded by the AME Zion Church
The firm has been a sponsor each of the past three years of The Consortium, a Forum for Plan Sponsors, Minority & Women-Owned Firms, held in New York and Los Angeles. The firm also co-sponsored the award-winning "Courage" exhibit and programs at Charlotte's Levine Museum of the New South.
We have served as pro bono counsel to various community groups, including the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte and the Minority Scholarship Foundation, a community foundation serving college-bound students in York County, South Carolina.
We hope that these and other future efforts, to which we are committed, can help our firm and our communities approach the ideals of openness, diversity and inclusiveness.