The stark images from the video of George Floyd’s death led to the most significant collective demonstration of civil unrest in generations. This event was a tipping point, the latest in a series of police and community violence against people of color, most especially Black and African Americans. This Center was created to acknowledge past inaction and take concrete steps toward addressing systemic inequalities.
We cannot ignore that America’s foundation is rooted in slavery, an institution that persisted for more than 200 years. That legacy did not end in 1865 with abolition. We note our country’s troubled past and present with lynchings, Jim Crow laws, mass incarceration, voter suppression, economic redlining, zoning laws, and lending and hiring practices that created concentrations of poverty, unequal education, inadequate health care, and disproportionate rates of unemployment in the Black community. Justice in this country has not been blind or equal. While we acknowledge some progress, we recognize that the legacy of slavery persists to this day in both overt acts of discrimination and in more subtle and pernicious attitudes, behaviors, and laws.
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“As a law firm, we have a central role to play in the process of reconciliation. As lawyers, we have a special responsibility to promote values of justice, fairness, and equality in the law and in practice. Arent Fox has the resources, talent, and prominence to effect change and bring about meaningful reform.”
– Mark M. Katz, Chair
“Arent Fox was founded in part because of lawyers who experienced a system of prejudice and exclusion, and we have worked to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for lawyers and staff from all backgrounds. With the legacy of the Firm’s founder Al Arent clearly in mind, we acknowledge the urgent need to take action and do more.”
– Cristina A. Carvalho, Firmwide Managing Partner
At Work Supporting and coordinating initiatives to promote equality for Black people and other people of color at the Firm and in the legal community.
In the Law Initiating and supporting pro bono activities to promote racial justice in all of our communities.
Through Education Sponsoring workshops and educational sessions to advance the Mission.
In Policy Advocating for legislative reform.
In Communities Strengthening our partnerships with existing organizations that are dedicated to racial justice, ending discrimination, and social reform for members of the Black community and communities of color.