Towards a Culture of Inclusion – FAQ
What are the goals of Towards a Culture of Inclusion (“TACOI”)?
- To ensure all PLDIC members are equally fluent on issues relating to the inclusion and retention of diverse lawyers and are equipped with the tools to address them.
- To expand the number of individuals throughout the Pittsburgh legal community who are engaged in the inclusion conversation.
- To train a critical mass of individuals ready to step up to be Diversity Allies. The PLDIC will offer certification to individuals who, because they have participated in a certain number of programs in the series, are “Ally Ready.”
We intend to measure the participation in the series to determine whether we meet these goals and promise to report to our members at the end.
What are the components of TACOI?
- Some programs are the kind you are used to seeing — in other words, traditional training programs. All our training programs, however, will be interactive and will provide you with valuable take-aways.
- Short “lightning” programs — 15 – 30 minutes in length — tackling discrete subjects.
- Programs at which we will talk, together, about race and its impact on our community and our workplaces.
- Small groups in which members can exchange and explore each other’s views, ideas, and experiences, as well as the views, ideas, and experiences of others.
- Opportunities to participate in relevant programs put on by others.
- Ideas for programs and actions you may want to implement in your individual law firms and law departments.
- Suggested (and vetted) resources.
What’s the schedule?
Some programs are already on the TACOI calendar and others will be added along the way. We will be responsive to what our members would like to see and will be soliciting their input throughout.
Generally speaking, however, there will be at least three traditional trainings; at least three short “lightning” programs; three conversations about race; and monthly small group “check-ins” for those individuals seeking to be certified as Ally-Ready.
What is an Ally and what does it mean to be certified as Ally-Ready?
An Ally — a Diversity Ally — is an individual who is willing to stand beside or behind members of cultural communities they are not part of in order to address biases or barriers that may be standing in their way. Anyone can be an ally because both privilege and marginalization are intersectional — that is, a White man may be an ally to Black men or women; a Black man may be an ally to White or Black women or to an Asian-American; an able-bodied individual of any race may be an ally to the disabled; or any straight, cisgendered individual may be an ally to members of the LGBTQ community, etc.
To be an Ally, one must act as an Ally. But to be ready to act as an Ally, one must do some preparatory work — examining one’s own biases, learning the issues, the background, the challenges others face, and finally, to the extent one is able, putting oneself in another’s shoes.
Individuals who seek to be certified as Ally-Ready must participate in the TACOI series at a certain level and will be the individuals who will participate in small groups for the purpose of sharing, learning, listening, and growing. Requirements for certification can be found here.
At the end of the series, the Coalition will celebrate those individuals who are certified Ally-Ready and we hope the firms and law departments where they work will do the same.
Who is the programming for? Who should attend?
Anybody who is interested in any of the individual programs or the series as a whole is invited to attend, one or any of the programs. This includes both lawyers and staff. If any of our programs are targeted at a particular audience, we will make that clear.
That being said, we are particularly hopeful that many of our programs will appeal to our law firm leaders, at all levels, because it is our leaders who hold the key to meaningful change. We also hope to attract people who may not have participated in Coalition or other diversity-related programming in the past because we want to expand the number of people in our legal community participating in the diversity, equity, and inclusion conversation.