IndyBar’s Commission on Racial Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is Ready to Lead

In his June 2020 guest column, Indianapolis Bar Association President-Elect Jimmie McMillian encouraged each of us to use our “power and position as an attorney to work in conjunction with the IndyBar on issues of racial injustice.” The obvious question is “how?”

The short answer from the IndyBar is to engage with the newly created Commission on Racial Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

The IndyBar is grateful for the leadership of commission co-chairs Senior Judge Carr Darden of the Indiana Court of Appeals and James Bell of Paganelli Law Group.

Judge Darden and Past President Bell are joined by these commission members:

• Vanessa Aguilera, Lopez Law Office

• Judge Cynthia Ayers, Marion Superior Court

• Andrew Campbell, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

• Adam Christensen, Weston Foods U.S.

• Chaka Coleman, Student, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

• Deborah Dobbins, Heritage Environmental Services, LLC

• Enrique Flores, Flores Law Group, LLC

• Judge Charnette Garner, Marion Superior Court

• Judge Alicia Gooden, Marion Superior Court

• Ian Goodman, Paganelli Law Group

• Nicholas Huang, Harrison & Moberly LLP

• Shelley Jackson, Krieg DeVault LLP

• Jimmie McMillian, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

• Mark Nicholson, Law Office of Mark Nicholson

• Kathy Osborn, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

• Magistrate Judge Doris Pryor, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

• Fred Scott, Harrison & Moberly LLP

• Andrea Shelton, Guideone Insurance

• Daniel Tomson, Indiana Court of Appeals

• Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

• Aaron Williamson, Williamson Civil Law LLC

• G. Michael Witte, Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission

• René Wyatt-Foston, Eskenazi Health

The IndyBar recognizes that issues related to racial equality, diversity and inclusion in the Indianapolis legal community are historically large and complex issues and cannot be addressed by a single set of concrete action steps. Instead, we acknowledge that the commission must be empowered to investigate and report on the state of equality, diversity, and inclusion within IndyBar, and build IndyBar’s capacity to serve as a leader and catalyst for change within the Indianapolis legal community as a whole.

Accordingly, the Commission will take a multi-phased approach that will first focus on issues of racial justice, diversity, and inclusion within the IndyBar. This work with be focused on making immediate, concrete changes within the association and on building the association’s capacity to lead a more broad-based commission that will address similar issues in the Indianapolis legal community as a whole.

The commission has held two meetings and has begun to gather and analyze data related to diversity within the IndyBar and the Indianapolis legal community. The commission has also begun to flesh out initial action steps. If you have input for the commission to consider, or are interested in engaging with the IndyBar on this important effort, please contact IndyBar Executive Director Julie Armstrong at [email protected] or 317-269-2000.•

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