DIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT
The Sedona Conference (TSC) recognizes the value of all voices, and diversity is at the heart of its mission. TSC's core purpose of fostering innovative legal thought and providing recommendations, principles and other guidance on "tipping point" legal issues relies on a broad review process involving its entire membership. This breadth of review, in turn, relies on the diversity of TSC's membership: not simply the diversity of opinions on all sides of a particular position, but also the diversity of background and experience that shapes and influences the unique perspective of each member.
TSC defines diversity as a focus on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomics, sexual orientation, gender identification, physical ability and age. TSC strives to provide leadership and guidance from legal professionals of diverse backgrounds and with differing interests and goals to help create a legal community that reflects and enhances diversity at Bench and Bar. To that end, the Committee’s mission is to set the PACE for diversity in the legal profession:
- promote the profile and participation of our diverse members;
- attract, retain, advance and recognize the diversity of our enrollment;
- communicate consistently with a unified voice that respects and supports diversity; and
- educate our members to generate deeper, lasting awareness of diversity in our profession.
DIVERSITY WORK PLAN
The Committee underscores TSC's commitment to diversity and aims to support TSC in improving its own diversity, as well as the diversity of the legal community at large. The Committee will work to align its efforts with TSC's overall strategic priorities, the needs of its overall membership as well as the needs of the individual Working Groups. The Committee is tasked with making recommendations to TSC’s Board of Directors for diversity initiatives to be approved and adopted by the Board. Once adopted by the Board, the recommendations will go to the Steering Committees of the individual Working Groups for approval and implementation.
The Diversity Work Plan outlines objectives and mechanisms to achieve this aim, and is organized around the four cornerstones of PACE: (1) promotion; (2) attraction; (3) communication; and (4) education.
Each PACE objective will have an assigned subcommittee which will be staffed by members of the Committee. Subcommittees will designate a chair who will organize the materials and findings of the subcommittee as well as act as meeting coordinator. The subcommittees will begin their assignments by creating project work plans that will focus on the goals of each objective. These goals will include both short-term and long-term goals and target completion dates.
The Committee will develop recommendations to enhance the participation of a diverse group of members in the TSC's scholarship, teaching, community engagement, and other professional and social activities. The Promotion Subcommittee will work on proposals to:
- identify and support diverse members on drafting panels, as program speakers and ambassadors for TSC;
- create opportunities for diverse members to network and socialize with one another;
- leverage TSC's values of open dialogue and free expression to distinguish TSC's support of diversity and inclusion from competing organizations;
- encourage members to model TSC's diversity imperatives outside the TSC community; and
- consult with the Bench, Bar and academia to stay abreast of diversity initiatives across the legal community and lend TSC's voice to the conversation.
The Committee will develop recommendations to attract and retain members with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and to assess the progress and success of TSC's current diversity-related initiatives. The Attraction Subcommittee will work on proposals to:
- attract diverse members to TSC as a whole and within the various working groups and steering committees;
- poll current members seeking voluntary self-identification;
- ascertain what, if any, current outreach and recruitment initiatives exist for participants and faculty and how, if necessary, to build and improve upon those initiatives;
- develop an evaluation method to assess the quality of TSC's diversity efforts; and
- benchmark and compare TSC’s diversity with that of other legal organizations.
TSC must have a clear and consistent voice on issues of diversity. This will necessarily include an understanding and outward communication of the "whys" and "hows" of the diversity effort. The Communication Subcommittee will work on proposals to:
- draft a communication to introduce the Plan to TSC's membership and, if appropriate, the broader legal community;
- work with TSC to ensure that its communications maximize opportunities to attract, recruit and retain diverse members and consistently communicate TSC's diversity-related goals; and
- regularly inform TSC membership of the progress of the diversity initiatives and objectives.
In order to continue promoting a culture of respect, awareness, and moral responsibility, the Committee will work to raise knowledge of, and sensitivity to, issues of diversity. The Education Subcommittee will work on proposals to:
- survey the TSC community to determine diversity topics of interest;
- work with event planning committees to identify ways to integrate and foster diversity issues within conference curricula, including diversity-related sessions for leadership;
- foster diversity-related dialogue within the greater legal community, collaborating with other organizations similarly committed to diversity; and
- work with academic institutions on diversity education.
ADDITIONAL DIVERSITY RESOURCES
- The American Bar Association publishes diversity and inclusion resources on its website here: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/diversity/resources/. The ABA’s resources are not necessarily endorsed by The Sedona Conference, but if you are interested in reviewing those resources this link is provided for your convenience.
For more information please email Diversity@sedonaconference.org.