The differences among us humans are many. We come in different colors, shapes, origins and sexual identities, with different thoughts, preferences and convictions.
But there are core elements we all share. Call it our commonality, our sameness. We all have curiosity, and the capacity to laugh, to love, to cry, to pursue freedom.
It’s what makes us, well, human.
Reveling in it all — our differences and our sameness — fuels us to greater success, whether we’re talking about a macro view on society or a micro view of a profession.
Slip Missouri’s legal profession onto that slide, clip it under the lens and peer in. You’ll find imperfections. But you will also find hard work and momentum to broaden inclusion and celebrate diversity.
The American Bar Association leads the profession nationally through its diversity and inclusion center resource, and The Missouri Bar follows suit with its committee on diversity, forums and training. Local bar associations do the same, from Springfield to St. Louis and Kansas City. A growing number of legal associations are devoted to diverse segments of attorneys doing remarkable work within the profession and the justice system.
The number of firms devoted to the work of inclusion continues to grow as their leaders recognize that excellence starts with a commitment from the top that builds from below. It’s the individuals of any association or firm who make sustainable change.
When diversity is celebrated and inclusion guaranteed in any endeavor, it’s surely our human essence leading the work.
And then there’s this: It’s the right thing to do.
The individuals we honor through this year’s Diversity & Inclusion awards do the right thing. They are part of the bedrock that supports a growing foundation of work throughout Missouri’s legal profession.
The 19 honorees we recognize on these pages were selected from among many incredible nominations after considerable deliberation. Missouri Lawyers Media did so with the help of a selection committee of attorneys drawn from throughout the state’s legal community — all of whom have spent much of their careers working to improve diversity and inclusion in the profession.
Our honorees represent incredible work, often conducted outside of the spotlight.
They are remarkable humans.
Unique humans who come together through their sameness. Common good.
And we are all better for it.
Publisher, Missouri Lawyers Media