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Diversity Leadership CouncilThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council

June 2011, vol. 5, no. 1

Now every article is the start of a discussion. If you're a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, you can comment on any of the articles that appear below.

In This Issue…

  • The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act
    When the new Act took effect on June 1, Illinois joined 11 U.S. States and the District of Columbia that now recognize legal unions between same-sex couples.
  • ISBA Assembly supports U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)—What happens next?
    The ISBA has taken a lead as one of the few bar associations to pass a formal resolution in support of CEDAW.
  • ISBA—Who we are and how we are doing in 2011
    Are our efforts to promote diversity in ISBA membership working? Check out the ISBA's census data here.
  • The United States Hispanic Leadership Institute
    Learn more about this nationally acclaimed Chicago-based nonprofit that, since it began its community empowerment work in 1982, has increased the number of Hispanics registered to vote from 82,000 to over 200,000.
  • Building diversity and inclusion through CLE and lawyer-to-lawyer mentoring
    Now, thanks to the Illinois Supreme Court’s recent approval of a recommendation of the Commission on Professionalism, experienced attorneys supporting the development of new lawyers through an approved mentoring program may receive professional responsibility CLE credit under new Supreme Court Rule 795(d)(12), and activities around diversity and inclusion are a key component of the Commission’s approved mentoring plan.
  • Diversity Scholarship Foundation, Mentoring, Women & Minorities
    Throughout the plan year, the Diversity Scholarship Foundation offers support to small, medium, and large law firms to become their “diversity partners” and encourages mentoring and recruitment of minority attorneys. As a diversity partner, the DSF will work hand-in-hand with the leadership of these firms to structure and implement a diversity plan of action beyond mere lip service.
  • ISBA Board of Governors adopts resolution recommending two additional Board seats to increase diversity
    With approximately 30,000 members, the ISBA is the largest voluntary statewide organization of lawyers in Illinois. This Resolution advances our association’s goal of inclusion by reflecting the changing face of our profession.
  • ISBA develops Law & Leadership Pilot Program
    The ISBA and the Illinois Bar Foundation, through the M. Denny Hassakis Fund, have agreed to make a one-time contribution of $37,500 to run the three-week pilot program for 40 disadvantaged minority eighth-grade graduates. It is the expectation and hope of the ISBA in collaboration with the Illinois legal community, that this initial pilot program will expand to a statewide initiative of intensive summer programs and regular Saturday programming during the school year.
  • The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
    Since 2002, through the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the Human Rights Campaign has surveyed major businesses, including law firms, to benchmark important employer benefits and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and their families.
  • ISBA Diversity Award
    The Diversity Leadership Award recognizes long-standing, continuing and exceptional commitment by an individual or an organization to the critical importance of diversity within the Illinois legal community, its judiciary and within the Illinois State Bar Association.
  • Annual Luminary of Hope Event
    Nearly 100 people commemorated Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the annual Luminary of Hope event in October.
  • Congratulations to the 2010-2011 Inaugural Class of Diversity Leadership Fellows
    The Diversity Leadership Fellows program had its inaugural year in 2010-2011. The goal of the Fellows program is to increase diversity in the membership of ISBA section councils, committees, and other leadership positions, to educate young lawyers about the work, structure, and policies of the ISBA, and to ultimately to develop a diverse group of future leaders of the organization.
  • ISBA members committed to diversity: How you can get involved
    Read about some of the highlights of the work done by the diversity-related ISBA committees and section councils this bar year.
  • ISBA Diversity Web page
    The ISBA diversity Web page serves as a central repository of the latest diversity-related information, activities and events within the bar association as well as the Illinois legal community. The Web page also provides insight into recent diversity led initiatives and highlights the progress of other Task Force recommendations.

Related Court Cases

Motions to Dismiss
Central Austin Neighborhood Association v. City of Chicago
Two organizations sued City of Chicago, alleging violation of Illinois Civil Rights Act, alleging that on average, persons in neighborhoods populated mostly by African-Americans and Hispanics wait longer than persons in mostly white neighborhoods for police to arrive in response to 911 call. The Act provides sufficient standards for court to apply to determine whether City's policies justify any disparate impact in response times to 911 calls. Courts have the competence needed to decide issues of such impact and justification for that impact, and have power to order appropriate relief for unjusitied disparate impact. Complaint does not present a nonjusticiable political question. (PUCINSKI and MASON, concurring.)

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