The Florida Bar News
August 15, 2017
THE FLORIDA BAR’S STANDING COMMITTEE ON DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION has a diverse mission. In addition to increasing diversity and inclusion in the Bar, the panel develops opportunities for community involvement and makes leadership roles within the profession and the Bar accessible to all attorneys. Each year the Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion awards a program with the Diversity Leadership Grant Outstanding Program Award at the Henry Latimer Diversity and Inclusion Lunch at The Florida Bar Convention. This year, the award went to the 2017 Tampa Bay Area Voluntary Bar Leaders’ Summit, organized by Vivian Cortes Hodz on behalf of three voluntary bars: the George Edgecomb Bar, the Hillsborough County Bar, and the Tampa Hispanic Bar. These voluntary bars received grant funds to cover the costs of the summit and extended invitations to the leadership of all of the voluntary bars in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. Thirteen organizations, as well as Board of Governors representatives from the 13th and Sixth circuits, were represented at the summit, a half-day breakfast to connect, collaborate, listen, and learn. This program allowed the individual leaders of diverse organizations to make connections that will facilitate future collaboration. “The summit created an environment of collegiality and familiarity that will allow the local Tampa voluntary bar leaders to work together beyond the summit,” Hodz said. “Together, these bar leaders unify to face common issues and challenges with support from each other as fellow voluntary bar leaders from the same geographic area.” The purpose of the voluntary bar association grant program is to support initiatives and programs that encourage diversity, 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. For information on how to replicate the Tampa Bay Area Voluntary Bar Leaders’ Summit, contact Arnell Bryant-Willis at [email protected].