Recommendations for The Florida Bar’s Diversity Initiative
Unanimously approved by the Program Evaluation Committee on May 27, 2010
The Florida Bar shall adopt the following definition of diversity:
The term “diversity” has a dynamic meaning that changes as the demographics of Floridians change. Apart from differences in race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, and geography, to mention a few, the public and our profession will experience changes in thought, culture, and beliefs. These demographics are constantly in flux. Defining “diversity” based on current differences would limit its application to future changes, and likewise restrict or limit The Florida Bar’s consideration of and response to such changes.
The Florida Bar shall adopt the following statement of commitment towards promoting diversity in the legal profession:
The Florida Bar is fully committed to the enhancement of diversity within the Bar, the legal profession, legal education, and in the justice system, and affirms its commitment toward a diverse and inclusive environment with equal access and equal opportunity for all.
Establish a Florida Bar diversity grant program for voluntary bars to support initiatives and programs which encourage diversity training and dialogue among lawyers in Florida through financial support of conferences, seminars, summits and symposia planned and hosted by local and specialty bar associations.
Create a Florida Bar Special Committee for Diversity and Inclusion for the purpose of setting up the structure and implementing The Florida Bar diversity grant program, as well as handling other tasks as assigned by The Florida Bar President. The Committee’s term will be one year.
Request that the President-elect appoint no less than one Board of Governor liaison to the Special Committee for Diversity and Inclusion.
Ensure that each Annual Convention of The Florida Bar contains some type of diversity programming within its schedule of events.
Increase communication efforts to sections, committees, divisions, voluntary bar associations and members of The Florida Bar regarding the Bar’s diversity initiative.
Request that the President-elect of The Florida Bar create a video message for all members explaining The Florida Bar’s committee appointment process and the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Create a Florida Bar staff role for The Florida Bar’s initiative on diversity and inclusion.
Ensure that support for diversity and inclusion is included both within Standing Board Policies and the strategic plan of The Florida Bar.
Sunset The Florida Bar’s Member Outreach Committee at the conclusion of the 2009-10 Bar year and transfer its mission and duties to the overall initiative, as identified in the various other recommendations.
Conduct a Board of Governors Program Evaluation Committee review of The Florida Bar’s diversity initiative in 2012-13 to ascertain how implementation efforts of the various recommendations have proceeded.