Taking A Stand Against Racism and Injustice
McManimon, Scotland & Baumann believes it is time to change and we are committing to do our part.
In recent weeks we have borne witness to the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the discriminatory systemic failure that resulted in the tragic death of Breonna Taylor and the horrific video footage of the murder of George Floyd. Similarly, we have witnessed unjustified calls to police clearly intended to threaten African Americans enjoying life’s basic pleasures: children selling lemonade, dog walking, jogging, swimming, cookouts in public parks…bird watching. The killings of, and intentional threats against, Black men, women and children participating in the simple joys of everyday life are only the most recent in a long legacy of discrimination that has been a central and ever-present theme of the Black Experience.
Things must change. As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a social order can only be maintained and thrive if there is the promise and hope of equality and equity in treatment and opportunity. If we cannot understand that we are all interconnected in every aspect of our lives and our spirit, we are doomed to fail. As we move forward with these challenges, the legal community, which throughout our history has been a beacon of light and catalyst for change, needs to be an active participant in this effort.
MS&B has a long-standing commitment to diversity, beginning with our founding members and continuing through to our newest hires. Nevertheless, going forward we will take a more active role in promoting dialogue, truth and transparency as our Country and State considers systemic reforms against institutional racism and discrimination. We have begun by engaging in serious and heart wrenching conversations among ourselves. We will continue as we seek to better understand the causes and the cures for the silence and complacency of good men and women that are witness to horrific acts of racism and the grossly disproportionate adverse impacts on African Americans in the areas of health, environmental injustice, housing, law enforcement and economic opportunity. Studying the issues is still not enough, however.
MS&B unequivocally condemns racism and injustice in all forms and will continue the fight for equality, opportunity, justice and inclusion by adopting a three-pronged approach. First, led by our Chief Diversity Officer, we will recommit ourselves to hiring and mentoring professionals of color with a specific focus on African American professionals so that we reflect those that we serve. Second, we will immediately encourage our attorneys to offer pro bono legal services to protesters who have been arrested in New Jersey during this social uprising. Third, MS&B will offer our services and targeted financial assistance to organizations focused on eliminating inequities specifically in the Black community and more generally in socio-economically disadvantaged communities.
We encourage all members of our MS&B family and others in the legal community to do their part to facilitate change. Through purposeful action, we can make our world better.