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Diversity & Inclusion

Unity in a Time of Crisis: A Message from Carlton Fields President and CEO Gary L. Sasso

Dear Friends,

We have arrived at a pivotal moment in the history of our country’s struggle to provide equal justice and open arms to black Americans. To students of history, you may be reminded of the story of Emmett Till. He was a young black teenager lynched in 1955 for talking to a white woman. Only when his mother displayed his mutilated body in an open casket did the world finally take notice of the prevailing state of affairs in this country. This helped drive important civil rights reforms.  

We have proclaimed success time and time again – with Emancipation, the adoption of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights Legislation, and on and on. But recent events make clear that true equality in this country remains more the exception than the rule – more of a dream than reality. The manner and circumstances of George Floyd’s death, sadly, were not unique. But coming at this time, in this way, this was just too much to bear.

I reached out this week to all of our attorneys and professional staff to ask them to share their thoughts and their feelings with me about where we are in America at this time. They told me stories that broke my heart. We are all different, of course, and prejudice and cruelty have not been reserved for black Americans, but our country has an especially long and troubled history between our “white” and “black” people, and we are still not in a good place. My black friends and colleagues carry the pain, the scars, and the burden of being treated all too often like criminals, thugs, and inferior life forms merely for existing or for being present where very few blacks are seen—or welcome. All black parents must prepare their sons and daughters for the inevitability of being stopped, interrogated, frisked, handcuffed, or worse, without cause. Is this equality, America? Is this okay? This is most definitely not okay.  This is not how anybody deserves to live, let alone any citizen of our country. This is not how any of us would want to live.

We can and must talk about law reform, government programs, legislation, and other means to address this injustice. Some of us can, should, and will contribute to institutional reform. We have been engaged in this as a law firm, and we have rededicated ourselves to continuing to do our part. But more than this, each of us holds the key in our own hands and hearts to making the biggest difference. We hold the key to love and hate. The choice is ours. This is not even a close call.

– Gary Sasso, President and CEO
 




Hiring and advancing diverse attorneys has been important to us as a firm since long before the legal profession recognized the business benefits of diverse teams. Our top-down commitment to diversity requires us to look beyond statistics to ensure we create an environment where all of our attorneys — and, in turn, our clients — can truly succeed. We continually assess and launch diversity and inclusion initiatives, and our efforts have been nationally recognized. For example, the firm conducts a 360-degree review process through which our attorneys and government consultants rank their practice group leaders on factors that include how well they promote diversity — their effectiveness weighs into their compensation.

 



Nancy Faggianelli

Nancy Faggianelli
Chief Diversity Officer

Appreciation of Diversity


… is one of Carlton Fields’ long-standing core values. The firm's commitment to diversity and inclusion is part of what our lawyers and professional staff do every day. 

Accolades

2019 american lawyer diversity scorecard
human rights campaign corporate equality index
vault guide to top 100 law firms
 


Business Resource Groups

Our internal networking groups power initiatives that have impacts within the firm, legal profession, and our communities.

Key Contacts for Carlton Fields Business Resource Groups

 

Nancy Faggianelli

Nancy Faggianelli
LGBT Alliance

Derek Harris

M. Derek Harris
Minority Alliance

Lori Baggett

Lori Baggett 
Women's Alliance

Irma Solares

Irma Reboso Solares
Women's Alliance
 

 

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