IndyBar Establishes Standing Commission on Racial Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Following the events of recent weeks and the growing awareness of racial inequality around the globe, we, leaders of the Indianapolis Bar Association, have recognized our responsibility to bring about change to achieve equality, diversity and inclusion in the Indianapolis legal community and beyond.

We are taking immediate action to grow a more diverse and inclusive legal community with the establishment of the Standing Commission on Racial Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We recognize that issues related to racial equality, diversity and inclusion in the Indianapolis legal community are historically large and complex and cannot be addressed by a single set of concrete action steps. It is the goal of this commission to investigate and report on the state of equality, diversity of inclusion from within the IndyBar and build the association’s capacity to serve as a leader and catalyst for change within the community.

Chaired by Indiana Court of Appeals Senior Judge Carr Darden and past IndyBar president James Bell, the commission’s “Phase One” work will be focused on making immediate, concrete changes within IndyBar and will include evaluation of current policies, including those related to vendors and leadership recruitment, and recommend changes and/or new policies that will tangibly increase the diversity and inclusion within the IndyBar. Its members will also advise on IndyBar programs and services that will educate members on issues related to racial equality, diversity and inclusion, like diversity success stories, racial justice forums, implicit bias presentations, the Diversity Job Fair and the Bar Leader Series, leadership opportunities among more.

The commission will also advise on building and communicating to members a library of resources to educate members on issues related to racial equality, diversity and inclusion, and will build capacity to facilitate Phase Two and beyond — a broad-based commission on equality, diversity and inclusion in the Indianapolis legal community.

The Indianapolis Bar Association & Foundation and the Standing Commission on Racial Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are dedicated to stopping racism in every form: economic, educational, social and cultural. Racism, and assuredly extreme violence against people of color, must find it has no place to exist in our society. If you have any ideas or suggestions related to these initiatives, please email IndyBar President Andy Campbell at [email protected] and IndyBar Executive Director Julie Armstrong at [email protected]

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