IndyBar’s Newest Diversity CLE Event: ‘A Morning of Meaningful Conversations’

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Brett Thomas

Michael M. McBride

By Michael M. McBride and Brett B. Thomas, Cohen & Malad LLP

Following the landmark affirmative action decision by the United States Supreme Court last June, Diversity Equity and Inclusion (“DEI”) efforts across the country have been under attack. Supporters of the decision, feeling emboldened, have launched a barrage of efforts to expand the scope of the decision and eliminate DEI initiatives across all industries. However, as Justice Sotomayor aptly pointed out in her dissenting opinion, “[d]iversity is now a fundamental American value, housed in our varied and multicultural American community that only continues to grow. The pursuit of racial diversity will go on.” In keeping with these words, the Indianapolis Bar Association has developed a new DEI-centered event titled: IndyBar Unites: A Morning of Meaningful Conversations.

This exciting new event is aimed at providing time and space for introspection, exchanging ideas and concepts across different industries, and inspiring attendees to continue working toward a more inclusive, equitable and just society. The opening general session will feature a diverse panel of general counsel and CEOs discussing DEI as it relates to interests and goals of those in hiring positions, their personal experiences, and opportunities for growth. Firms or organizations for whom five or more attorneys are registered will gain special access to a breakfast and networking session with the distinguished panelists prior to the panel discussion.

Following the panel, attendees will have two breakout sessions from which to choose. The first offering is a strategy and workshop symposium where attendees can learn how to and begin building their firm’s DEI plan. The alternative presentation will provide the legal community’s guide to inclusion through intentional language and action. The program will conclude with an engaging lunch where IndyBar leaders will moderate discussions at each table related to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in our legal community and beyond. This luncheon is modeled after a successful program in Dallas, Texas called, “Together We Dine.”

IndyBar Unites: A Morning of Meaningful Conversations is another example of IndyBar’s steadfast commitment to expanding its DEI initiatives for the benefit of its membership and the Indianapolis community. The continued success of DEI efforts locally and throughout the country relies on support from individuals and businesses in their communities. We invite and encourage you to attend this incredible upcoming event and engage in meaningful conversations about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion and how to better reach your own DEI goals and those of your firm or organization. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

A Morning of Meaningful Conversations is presented by Taft and will take place at the Hilton Indianapolis at 120 West Market Street on July 11, 2024, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The program has been approved by the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education and attendees are eligible for three ethics and general CLE credits. Additional information, including information regarding the cost of the event can be found on the Indianapolis Bar Association website (•

Michael M. McBride is an attorney with Cohen & Malad LLP and serves as the chair of the firm’s Business Services, Real Estate, and Business Litigation practice groups. His litigation practice includes matters on the state, federal, and appellate level. McBride is a member of the IndyBar Foundation’s Board of Directors and serves as co-chair of the Golf Committee.

Brett B. Thomas is an attorney with Cohen & Malad LLP. His practice focuses on representing small and large businesses across the state of Indiana in a variety of disputes involving vendors, contractors, landlords, employees, and more. Before joining Cohen & Malad LLP, Thomas represented indigent citizens as a Public Defender. Thomas is a member of the IndyBar Foundation’s Board of Directors and serves as co-chair of the Golf Committee.

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