Eliminating Bias: Inclusive Leadership in the Legal Profession

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

With the death of George Floyd, many organizations are more open and receptive to bringing about change and are actively engaged in creating a more diverse and racially inclusive work environment. This session, presented by Cecilia B. Loving, Esq., Deputy Commissioner and Chief Diversity Officer of the Fire Department of NYC (“FDNY”); Wendy Star, Esq., Director of FDNY Diversity and Inclusion Policy Initiatives; Weijin (Gina) Leow, FDNY Diversity and Inclusion Manager; FDNY Captain Steven Lee; and Firefighter Lawrence Felder will go beyond a discussion of implicit bias to explore how leadership in the legal profession can be more proactive in supporting and sustaining a more inclusive work environment. Together, they will teach how we can lean into our discomfort to improve self-awareness and self-regulation and become more accountable to the necessary work of inclusion; how we can enhance our connection with everyone regardless of superficial differences; how we can improve relationships through deep listening and by embracing the stories of everyone; and how we can tap the power of inclusion to become more authentic, appreciative and transformational leaders. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore leadership and how, if cultivated, general leadership principles support a more positive and inclusive work environment

  2. Discuss practices that we can all employ to give everyone the opportunities and professional development to succeed

  3. Develop strategies to support racial justice and healing in the profession from the inside out

  4. Provide the necessary tools to be a catalyst for the change that we hope to see in the world

Credit Information

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Cecilia B. Loving

Fire Department of New York City

CECILIA B. LOVING is Deputy Commissioner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (“CDIO”) at the Fire Department of New York City, where she provides leadership for a positive and holistic work environment for over 17,000 members.  Certified in Diversity and Inclusion by Cornell University, Restorative Circle Keeping by Planning Change and Courageous Conversations by the Winters Group, she oversees the Fire Commissioner’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Bravest Women Talks, Women’s Summits, Courageous Conversations, 10-Talks, Firehouse Kitchen Table Talks, Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Labs, Inclusion Strategy Videos, Inclusive Leadership Training, and similar initiatives. She previously worked as a Law Enforcement Bureau Attorney and EEO Counselor for NYC’s Commission on Human Rights, as well as a litigator at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, Kramer Levin, and the Legal Aid Society. She chaired the Board of Directors for the Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Inc., the first diversity and inclusion organization in the legal profession. She is founder of the Mindfulness Group at FDNY, where she publishes both a Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter and a Mindfulness Newsletter.  She is also Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the NYC Bar Association’s first Committee on Mindfulness and Well-Being in the Law. In addition to obtaining her JD from NYU School of Law, Cecilia obtained her BFA from Howard University, MFA from UCLA and MDiv from NY Theological Seminary.  She has received several awards, including but not limited to the FDNY Women’s History Award and the Women on the Front Line of Gender Justice Award. She is author of several books, including but not limited to God is a Brown Girl Too; Prayers for Those Standing on the Edge of Greatness; and Ten Laws of Unlimited Success, as well as author of numerous articles, such as “The Power of Inclusion: Treating Others Well is Essential to Our Well-Being”; “More Support for Mindfulness: Reduction of Implicit Bias”; and “This Ancient Practice Helps Resolve Workplace Conflict.”

Wendy M. Star

Fire Department of New York City

WENDY M. STAR is Director of Policy Initiatives for Diversity and Inclusion at the Fire Department of New York City. In addition to providing leadership for more than 40 affiliated organizations at FDNY, Wendy also provides leadership in diversity and inclusion training initiatives, as well as legal issues pertaining to equity and inclusion.  She is a Certified Restorative Circle Keeper and Secretary of the New York City Bar Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Law Committee.  Previously, she served as Senior Counsel with the Office of General Counsel at New York State United Teachers (“NYSUT”) where she represented teachers, school-related professionals and unions in labor and employment law matters. Prior to her employment at NYSUT, Wendy was a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division.  Wendy also advocates for the rights of refugees here in the United States and internationally.  She received her Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Purchase College where she studied women’s studies, political science and paper arts.