Brave Space/Self-Care Series: Yoga with Jacqueline Walker
Several PLDIC members enjoyed a restorative yoga practice to start off the year as part of the Community Building Committee's Brave Space/Self-Care series.
Diverse Law Student Speed Networking Event
The PLDIC hosted its first organized speed networking event between diverse 1L law students and PLDIC member organizations who have available 2024 summer law clerk or internship positions for first year law students at Emerald City Pittsburgh.
2023 PLDIC Member Holiday Party
Seventeen PLDIC member organizations were represented at our annual Member Holiday Party event, which was held at Puttery. Guests mingled, enjoyed food and drink, and tried their hand at mini golf!
Professionalism in the 21st Century: An Interactive Experience on Implicit Bias and Bystander Training for the Legal Profession
Over 60 attendees representing 14 PLDIC member organizations (10 of which were corporate members) took part in a free, virtual, interactive CLE hosted by the PLDIC, the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s In-House Counsel Committee, and the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Western PA Chapter. During "Professionalism in the 21st Century: An Interactive Experience on Implicit Bias and Bystander Training for the Legal Profession," attendees had the opportunity to preview the PA CLE Board’s latest offering on implicit bias and hear thoughtful discussion from Eric Cottle, Partner, K&L Gates LLP (and PLDIC Board Chair); Lloyd Freeman, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; Victoria McKenney, Deputy General Counsel, United States Steel Corporation; and Hemma Lomax, VP, Associate General Counsel, Integrity, Governance, Risk, & Compliance at Zendesk. PBA Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Trent Hargrove moderated the event.
Brave Space/Self-Care Series: Self Empowerment Workshop
The October session of the Community Building Committee's Brave Space/Self-Care series with Sensei Mowod provided valuable knowledge for all who attended! Participants gained the knowledge, the right mindset, the techniques, and the skills to avoid and, if necessary, overcome an attack or confrontation with an attacker.
DEI Deconstructed: How We Recruit, Resource, and Retain Top Talent with Lily Zheng
Nineteen members organizations were represented at our webinar with DEI strategist and author Lily Zheng last Thursday, 19. Lily shared the best practices and insightful advice that have helped many organizations make the next step in their journeys toward more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces. They also provided foundational knowledge about DEI work, insights tailored to leaders and change-makers, and guidance on how we can all make changes that stick in our own organizations. PLDIC members can access the full recording on our members only page.
ATLAC CLE: Racial Equity in the Legal Profession
Union Trust Building
More than 75 attendees took part in the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County and PLDIC’s CLE on September 21, “Racial Equity in the Legal Profession” at the Union Trust Building. The program provided 1 ethics and 1 substantive PA CLE credits and featured keynote speaker Michelle Silverthorn. PLDIC Executive Director Ena Lebel moderated the session, which featured panelists including U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia L. Dodge, Western District of Pennsylvania; Gregory B. Jordan, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, PNC Financial Services Group; Rosa Copeland Miller, Managing Attorney, FedEx Ground; Jason Hazlewood, Managing Partner, Pittsburgh for Reed Smith; and Silverthorn.
Brave Space/Self-Care Series: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis
The PLDIC’s Community Building Committee hosted its second installment of the “Brave Space/Self-Care” series on September 20 at Eckert Seamans. Nearly a dozen individuals participated in this conversation about Supreme Court’s recent decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.
PLDIC Family Picnic
Forbes and Braddock Shelter
Thanks to everyone who attended our first ever PLDIC Family Picnic at Forbes/Braddock Shelter and Playground on Saturday, August 26. More than 50 attendees, including representation from 10 member organizations, enjoyed the green space, playgrounds, food, and most importantly – good company!
CLE: Objection! An Interactive Educational Experience on Diversity and Bias Issues in the Legal Profession
The PLDIC recently partnered with affiliate member organization Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network to bring this CLE to our membership. Developed by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board and Carnegie Mellon Entertainment and Technology Center, the program used animated vignettes, audience polling technology, and group discussions to explore realistic workplace situations and contemplate issues, viewpoints, and ethical issues.
The Brave Space/Self-Care Series: SCOTUS Affirmative Action Case
The PLDIC Community Building Committee designed this program to be a monthly on-going series, alternating between a brave/safe space for facilitated conversations and discussions about external events impacting our lives; and classes focused on tools to build mental and physical health and to learn skills to successfully navigate difficult situations at work. The first session was held on August 16 with a productive conversation about the SCOTUS affirmative action case.
Pittsburgh Pirates Pride Night with the PLDIC
The PLDIC joined the Allegheny County Bar Association LGBTQ+ Rights Committee and 2023 Summer Clerkship Program (and 2L/3L Mentoring Program) participants to celebrate Pride at the Pittsburgh Pirates game vs. the Mets.
Pittsburgh Pride Revolution Parade
PLDIC member organizations Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Eckert Seamans, K&L Gates, and Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP were represented at the Pittsburgh Pride Revolution Parade March on June 3 with the Allegheny County Bar Association’s LGBTQ+ Rights Committee. This parade celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Pride in Pittsburgh.
Updating Your Firm’s DEI Strategy: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid
The PLDIC held an event and networking reception with Baker Donelson Shareholder Marcus Maples on May 23 at Emerald City. Nine member organizations were represented at the event. Resources and the event presentation are available on our Members Only page.
PLDIC Night at the Opera
A dozen attendees represented the PLDIC at the 3rd Pittsburgh Opera LGBTQ+/Ally Pride Night last Saturday, March 25 at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. The group helped contribute to a new record for the Opera Pride Night contingent with over 100 people in attendance!
Building an Inclusive Business to Compete in Today’s Global Market: Interactive Workshop for Small & Mid-Sized Organizations
Attendees from eight organizations learned the theory behind the VOKLY DEI Progression Model, applied it to evaluate their own organizations, and had the opportunity to ask detailed and firm-specific questions of VOKLY. Resources from the event are available on our Members Only page.
The Path to Belonging – Rise Through the Authenticity Principle
The PLDIC hosted Ritu Bhasin (an award-winning life coach, empowerment speaker, author and inclusion expert) for a virtual session aimed at individuals who identify at BIPOC. In this inspiring presentation, Ritu uncovered how the practice of authenticity and belonging can elevate professionals from equity-seeking communities to live, work and lead in a more empowered way. She revealed how to identify and interrupt your own internalized bias and self-limiting beliefs and behaviors, embrace and leverage your cultural differences to cultivate experiences of belonging, and consistently choose to be more authentic in your interactions.
More than 30 people showed up to mingle with fellow PLDIC members and have a great time! Thanks to all who attended. Special thank you to Eckert Seamans for going above and beyond with food and drink; and to Community Building Committee Chair Aarthi Murty and her husband for running the trivia. Congratulations to the winning team, Mardi Law!
PLDIC Recruiter Panel – It’s Not Me, It’s You
Forty participants heard from a seasoned group of recruiters about their experiences working with diverse legal candidates considering opportunities in Pittsburgh. A recording from the event is available on our Members Only page.
Fostering Effective & Inclusive Feedback: an Interactive Presentation & Feedback Hackathon Experience led by Paula Edgar
The PLDIC held our first event of 2023 on January 18. Sixty people attended the highly interactive and thought-provoking session led by DEI expert and professional coach Paula Edgar. During the workshop, Paula facilitated a conversation about feedback challenges and strategies to overcome those barriers to effective and inclusive feedback. The participants worked in small groups to discuss real life scenarios and then, spent the last hour of the workshop in a hackathon! Paula divided the attendees into teams, each with a particular feedback challenge to tackle, and the teams issue-spotted, then problem-solved – ultimately developing innovative solutions to provide effective and inclusive feedback. A big thank you to UPMC for hosting our participants. We are eager to see if these solutions get implemented at our member organizations.
Diversity Terms 2.0
Over 75 individuals attended the Coalition's first event of 2022, Diversity Terms 2.0, on January 26. Following the session, the Coalition updated its popular glossary, "Key Terms Used in the D&I Conversation," to include changes and additions that have occurred to the terminology over the past year. This guide is an ongoing work in progress, so please feel free to reach out to us if you notice anything else that needs changed. We encourage our members to use this glossary as a resource and share with their organizations. The PLDIC would also like to extend a special thank you to Danielle Mundekis, Employee Relations and Inclusion Manager at Coalition member Eckert Seamans, for providing her expertise during this program and helping to update our terms glossary.
Bias Interrupted: Creating Inclusion for Good and for Real
The Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements have revealed the inadequacy of our efforts to date, in addressing racism and gender discrimination. “We have to change systems,” declares Joan C. Williams, Director of the Center for WorkLife Law and professor at the University of California, Hastings. Williams discussed her book, Bias Interrupted, on February 28 at 1 p.m. In her book, she shares the results of a decade-long research program with nearly 18,000 people in different industries. Her research shows that mentoring and other programs only help people navigate systems that remain fundamentally unfair, while bias training, while well-meaning, is ineffective or even counterproductive. Williams’ highly pragmatic approach begins with measuring progress at four key points where bias is transmitted in organizations: hiring, performance reviews, compensation, and promotion (as well as access to opportunities like key assignments). Williams then introduces bias interrupters: evidence-based, metrics-driven tools that can, over time, produce big changes.
Q&A with Ruchika Tulshyan
The PLIDC hosted a webinar Q&A with author, keynote speaker, and inclusion strategist Ruchika Tulshyan. Ruchika's book, Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work, was released on March 1. You may also have seen Ruchika's article from the Harvard Business Review, "Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome." Upon registering, participants were able to submit their questions to Ruchika.
Deep Retention: Inclusion vs. Tokenism
The PLDIC held a free CLE program, Deep Retention: Inclusion vs. Tokenism. Nearly three dozen people representing nine PLDIC member organizations attended the training, which received positive feedback from many attendees. Thanks to Asta Kill, Esq. of the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation for leading this informative program. Additionally, thank you to member Babst Calland for hosting the event. Many Babst employees were able to take advantage of this opportunity - and not just lawyers, either - representatives from other departments such as HR and Marketing took part. If you would like to host a future PLDIC event at your organization and make it easier for your employees to attend a DEI event, please let us know!
Sewickley Community Center's Juneteenth Festival
The Community Building Committee had a great time meeting local attorneys, community members, and students at the Sewickley Community Center's Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 18. The PLDIC was represented by Community Building Chair Aarthi Murty, Gretchen Roos from member PPG, and Rebecca Kennedy from member K&L Gates. Special thanks to Meghan Kalmar for coordinating with the SCC and for donating candy and toy favors for the kids in attendance!
Riverhounds Pride Night Event
The PLDIC’s Community Building Committee and many other PLIDC members celebrated Pride with at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Pride Night. This special event benefited the PGH Equality Center, an LGBTQIA+ Community Center that serves as a bridge that promotes education, advocacy, and social justice for all LGBTQIA+ people and allies in Western Pennsylvania.
Implementing a Successful Stay Interview Program
The PLDIC Retention Committee held a CLE event on October 24, Implementing a Successful Stay Interview Program. More than 30 attendees learned from attorneys who have integrated stay interviews into their employee development programs. The CLE covered different types of stay interview programs and how they were developed and implemented, benefits of stay interviews, and lessons learned by panelists. The event also included small group exercise and rounded out with a happy hour in celebration of Diwali. Attendees received a how-to guide with tips on implementing a stay interview program in their own organizations (available on our Members Only page). A big thank you to member organization Dentons Cohen & Grigsby for hosting this program.
PLDIC Members Holiday Party
Shorty's Pins x Pints
The PLDIC held a members holiday party featuring duckpin bowling, table shuffleboard, foosball, pinball, vintage arcade games, food and drink, and most importantly, good company. This casual event was a fun opportunity to network, celebrate, and end the year with fellow Coalition members.