Firm Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter Movement, Expands Existing Programs to Combat Racial Injustice
June 18, 2020 – The global law firm of Winston & Strawn today announced an expansion of the firm’s ongoing efforts in the fight for racial equality and to affirm that Black Lives Matter.
In a global address to all employees, Chairman Tom Fitzgerald, Vice Chairman Michael Elkin, and Co-Executive Chairmen Dan Webb and Jeffrey Kessler unveiled a comprehensive platform of actions and goals that build on the firm’s existing commitments to promote positive, lasting change.
“We continue to hold ourselves accountable to be powerful allies in the fight for racial equality,” said Fitzgerald. “Today marks a significant expansion of Winston’s promise to leverage our resources for the eradication of racial injustice. We remain committed to an ongoing dialogue, aggressive goal-setting, and meaningful investment to enact real change.”
Effective immediately, the following measures were developed in coordination with firm leadership and a broad base of diverse stakeholders over the past two weeks:
- Winston & Strawn will be closed for a day of celebration and reflection on June 19th in recognition of Juneteenth, the oldest national observance of the end of slavery in the United States.
- The firm will expand its sizable pro bono efforts to identify additional causes and initiatives that combat racial inequality in its many forms, including access to justice, criminal justice reform, policing tactics, and immigration. On June 11th, Winston & Strawn joined a coalition of companies and firms as signatories on a petition to repeal Section 50-A of the New York State Civil Rights Law, a victory that will bolster current and future pro bono actions involving racial injustice.
- Winston & Strawn is making a $100,000 contribution to Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted, do not have funds for effective representation, or may have been denied a fair trial.
- The firm is providing a 50% match on all employee donations to the following organizations that support racial equality:
- Winston & Strawn will regularly provide volunteer opportunities for all attorneys and staff specifically targeted to further the firm’s mission for racial justice.
- The firm will host regularly scheduled town hall meetings to continue a firmwide discussion on race, racial inequality, privilege, and allyship.
- Resource materials and toolkits will be provided for addressing the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of the firm’s racially diverse lawyers and staff on promoting positive mental health, inclusive leadership, and allyship.
- Winston & Strawn will initiate a leadership-led review of internal systems, processes, and practices that will ensure historically under-represented lawyers and staff have equal opportunities to succeed.
- All partners will attend mandatory training on implicit bias.
- The firm will expand its diversity and inclusion efforts to more meaningfully include all staff departments.
- The firm will create a dedicated task force charged with implementing the aforementioned steps and to keep the firm accountable and achieving milestones in a timely manner.
Download the press release here.
Director, Brand Marketing/Global Head of Communications