On Friday, March 23, 2018, Lincoln Derr attorneys Gwendolyn W. Lewis and Maria Ortiz planned and coordinated a diversity-focused CLE program entitled “White Like Me.” Lewis shared that “it’s not often that you sit with your Bar colleagues and reflect on what our individuality means to the greater profession and world, for that reason, we thought this CLE would be the perfect gateway to honest discussions about race relations in our communities and profession.” The CLE was presented by the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys’ (“NCADA”) Diversity Committee and was held at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The first part of the program included the viewing of a one-hour documentary, “White Like Me,” by renowned anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise. Stephen Bloch-Schulman, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Elon University, facilitated the viewing and discussion on how the cycle of inequality and race-driven bitterness in our country stems from white entitlement programs of the past. Among many others, Professor Block-Schulman, posed questions such as: Have we entered a post-racial era? Why does white America minimize white entitlement attitudes in politics and government? How can the legal profession recognize these biases and proactively change the paradigm?
Professor Bloch-Schulman began the CLE by asking the attendees to consider the first time they recognized their own race. Attendees of various generations and races openly shared their realizations and experiences with race awareness in their lives. Although difficult to discuss at first, the diverse audience embraced the opportunity to learn, grow, and discuss the roots of their racial experiences and biases. Uplifting accounts of evolving white attitudes as well as empowering stories of positive black family narratives, were shared.
“Having open thought-provoking conversations like these is one example of how we grow together as a community. It was particularly significant to hear everyone’s thoughts and personal experiences,” commented Ms. Ortiz.
Click here to learn more the Diversity Committee of the NCADA: http://ncada.org/Diversity-Committee.
Gwendolyn W. Lewis
Gwendolyn Lewis practices in the area of general civil litigation with a focus on employment litigation and counsel, business litigation, and healthcare counsel and litigation.
Maria Ortiz practices in the area of general civil litigation with a focus on healthcare counsel and litigation, and complex business and commercial litigation.