Statement in Support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community (3.30.2021)
In the past year, there has been a tragic and unacceptable increase in violence against members of the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community across the country and in local communities in Maryland. We denounce these hateful acts in the strongest terms and extend our sympathy and support to all who are affected. No person should ever fear being attacked or degraded because of their identity.
We know that these recent attacks are only the latest chapter in a long and often unrecognized history of violence and discrimination, from verbal slurs to physical attacks against members of the AAPI community in the United States. To create a safer and more inclusive future for our colleagues, clients, and friends, we must confront these historical racial injustices directly and continue to find ways to have honest conversations with colleagues, friends and family and to dismantle persistent systemic inequities today.
As a Firm and as individuals, speaking out and showing support for the AAPI community is a big step in bringing more attention to the issue. Furthering the education of the community at large on the history of racism against Asian Americans that has largely remained hidden would also help foster understanding of these issues.
Many groups have been leading the fight to protect the rights of the Asian community, and we are making a donation to the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC), an organization that provides pro bono services to low income Asian American individuals in the region.
We will continue to pursue and support the vital work of undoing the effects of bias and prejudice against Asians, both internally and in the greater community.
(June 5, 2020)
Injustice, inequality and racism, in every form, are reprehensible. We stand in the fight against racism with the Black community, including our many friends, colleagues, clients and neighbors. The protests around the country and here in Baltimore present us an opportunity to reflect on our role in increasing the presence, inclusion and success of Black people in our Firm and in the legal and professional community.
If we want to create a world that truly works better, we must do the hard work of addressing the systemic inequality and injustice facing members of our society. In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to seek out opportunities to engage on issues of equity and inclusion. We expect we will do this, in part, through continued training and enhanced dialogue with our Firm personnel, mentoring and financial support of organizations and initiatives.
At the same time, we feel like words and promises to continue working without any immediate action also fail to meet this moment. In recognizing the acute issues of this moment, we are donating to the NAACP. The NAACP’s work to eliminate racial disparities and seek justice is crucial to addressing some of the systemic issues that have again come to the forefront of the national dialogue.
Much more is needed, and our commitment has been and must be ongoing. We are crucially committed to not just hearing the Black community, but intently listening to its members with empathy, learning and understanding.
Promoting the advancement of diversity, both within the Firm and in the community, is of utmost importance to Gordon Feinblatt. The Firm strongly supports the growth of diversity in the law, including diversity in race, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language and experiences. We believe supporting diversity initiatives is not just important but the right thing to do. In cultivating different ideas and perspectives, our goal is to encourage diversity and inclusion among our attorneys and staff. We support activities that promote diversity and engage in many activities and organizations to encourage inclusion. We believe that diversity among all personnel enhances the Firm's ability to respond to the needs of a dynamic and increasingly diverse business community.
In 2017, the Firm reconstituted its commitment to diversity and inclusion by launching a comprehensive initiative aimed at addressing four core pillars:
With a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee comprised of lawyers and staff working in sub-committees, Gordon Feinblatt’s goal is to weave diversity and inclusion thoughtfully and purposefully into the Firm’s culture at every level and in the communities in which we live and work.
The Firm is a proud member of the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance.
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee hosted their first book club discussion in February 2021, during which they discussed “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. At the next meeting in May 2021, the group will discuss “Minor Feelings” by Cathy Park Hong. The book club will meet to discuss a new title at least once per quarter.
Gordon Feinblatt supports the Law Link Summer Program. Each year, a rising junior or senior is given the opportunity to learn about the law profession and law firm culture.
Students from the University of Maryland Black Law Student Association (BLSA) attended the 2020 Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition in Ohio. Gordon Feinblatt sponsored and coached the team. Several lawyers taught them the fundamentals of negotiation in a real-life setting.