Nancy Macan McNally and Doug Smith, Co-Chairs
Van Ness Feldman, LLP
The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the most recent tragic examples in a longstanding pattern of violence against Black Americans. As we absorb the implications of these deaths, our colleagues of color at VNF have bravely shared their personal fears, sorrow, anger, and frustration. We stand with our colleagues, and with African-American communities around the country, in decrying systemic racism and in vigorously opposing hate and prejudice. Each of us is called upon to do our part to actively address the racial inequities that currently exist in our society. We will look for opportunities in our personal lives, our family lives, our religious lives, our community lives, and our work lives to make progress in the pursuit of racial and social justice.
While each of us at VNF engages on these critical issues in our own ways, the firm itself will redouble its work to ensure that it operates with attention to issues of fairness and respect. Led by our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, we will take additional steps to advance these goals. We will, for instance: work to highlight and address unconscious bias and the part it plays in furthering prejudice; seek to expand our pro bono efforts to combat the harms of racial inequity; continue to attend to issues of diversity in our recruiting, promotion, and professional review processes; look for new ways to further educate ourselves about the experiences and perspectives of African-Americans in our nation; and provide opportunities to share, listen, and learn from the experiences and perspectives of our diverse team members.