We would like to take this opportunity to update you on our response to racial injustice and our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We also offer educational resources about the history of systemic racism in this country; a first step as we work towards a more inclusive future.
To begin with, the Firm has committed to providing more resources to promote pro-bono legal services. We have scheduled a Lunch and Learn on Juneteenth to highlight some of the work our firm’s lawyers and staff have already done to advance social justice and equality. We will be seeking to collaborate with a number of local not-for-profits that support those causes and will connect them to our attorneys who are interested in providing pro-bono legal services. Racial injustice and systemic racism are too embedded and too complex to be addressed by a single law firm or public interest organization.
The Firm is also pleased to announce that we have formed a Diversity & Inclusion Committee to further promote engagement within our community via trainings, recruitment, pro bono work and other events. In addition, we will be making meaningful financial contributions this month to the Color of Change Education Fund, The Innocence Project, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Black Lives Matter
We remain deeply committed to promoting inclusion and to using our skills and platform to advance and improve racial and social justice for diverse communities. Potomac Law will continue to explore programs and initiatives to further these important objectives.
Educate: Following is a sampling of resources that describe the history of systemic racism in the country, its effects as experienced by communities of color historically and today, and ways to combat racism and advocate for racial justice.
- “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson
- "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander
- “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
- “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo
- “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “Biased” by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt
- Talking About Race Web Portal – The National Museum of African American History and Culture
- How to Make This Moment the Turning Point for Real Change by Barack Obama, Medium
- Fighting Racism Even, and Especially, Where We Don’t Realize It Exists by Jeffrey C. Stewart, The New York Times
- Guide to Allyship – A straightforward tool that provides resources for becoming a more effective ally.
- ‘It Could have Been Me’: Black Attorneys Reflect on George Floyd’s Death and What Comes Next by Dylan Jackson, The American Lawyer
- “Just Mercy” – A film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stephenson’s work on death row in Alabama. Free streaming available.
- “Selma” – A film which chronicles the marches of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
- “13th” – A Netflix documentary film exposing the nation’s history of racial inequality within the criminal justice system.
- “When They See Us” – A Netflix miniseries from Ava DuVernary about the true story of the falsely accused Central Park Five.
- “Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992” – A documentary film that examines the racial tensions in Los Angeles and the riots over Rodney King’s death.
- “James Baldwin v. William F. Buckley (1965)” – A debate on the question: “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”
- “Code Switch” (NPR) – “A Decade of Watching Black People Die”
- “What A Day” (Crooked Media) – “Protesting 1, 2, 3”
- “The Daily” (The New York Times) – “A Weekend of Pain and Protest”
- “Unlocking Us with Brené Brown” – “Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist”
We know many of you are looking for ways to help the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. We have put together a list of supportive organizations below if you are interested in donating or learning more. This list is not exhaustive, but we hope it can be a resource to you as you think of the organizations you would like to help.
- Advancement Project
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Black Lives Matter Global Network
- Campaign Zero
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Innocence Network
- Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- National Bail Out
- National Urban League
- Strategies for Youth
And lastly, feel free to share your resources or recommendations with us. Please reach out to Jackie Lewis (email@example.com) or Marlene Laro (firstname.lastname@example.org).