Member Groups

Diversity Matters
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council

June 2017, vol. 10, no. 1

Chair’s column

As we are set to close another bar year I want to take this time to reflect on the past two years as Chair of the Diversity Leadership Council. During those two years we have shared in some adversity, but also in great success. As we move into the new bar year, I’m confident that the ISBA, along with the help of its diversity-related committees and bodies, will continue to put its best foot forward with respect to diversity and inclusion within the Association and the greater legal profession.

The DLC champions the twin virtues of diversity and inclusion. Diversity represents an invitation to participate, while inclusion represents activate participation. When I stepped into the Chair’s seat, one of our most challenging tasks was the evaluation of how the ISBA structures its diversity-oriented committees and programs in pursuit of these goals. Under this re-structure initiative, as requested by the ISBA Board of Governors (BoG), the DLC was tasked with considering certain changes to the constituent committees of the DLC and the DLC itself. After over a year of work and negotiation among the members of the DLC and the BoG, the DLC was able to pass a resolution authorizing certain changes to be put in place. The changes will become effective at the beginning of the next bar year and will ensure that the ISBA continues its tradition of including attorneys of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and opinions as a vital part of the Association.

In addition, the DLC has continued to actively engage with ISBA membership and the Illinois legal community. Through our efforts, the Association hosted the Fourth Annual Minority Bar CLE Conference in the summer of 2016. We partnered with the Filipino American Lawyers Association, Chinese American Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, South Asian Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, and the Korean American Bar Association. Following the success of the conference we have made it an annual ISBA event, with the Fifth Annual Conference being hosted at the ISBA’s offices on June 22 and 23.

In closing, I would like to remind the ISBA community that diversity and inclusion are good things--things that we as a community and a profession should strive for. The DLC needs to continue pushing the diversity and inclusion agenda of the Association through thoughtful programing and partnerships, while working with current Association leadership to assure the message is heard and that action is taken. Thank you so much to all the people at the ISBA that provided a helping hand in seeing the DLC’s mission through. We still have a long way to go, so I’m asking you to stay with us.


Cory White
2015-17 Chair