How to Be an Upstander: Intervening in Racism in the Legal Workplace
Created on September 28, 2020
Examples of discrimination and xenophobia happen every day, and in legal workplaces, these incidents contribute to the lack of diversity in the profession. Sometimes "bystander" attorneys are put in a position of hearing something discriminatory that makes them uncomfortable, but may be unsure about how to respond in the moment — both because it can be awkward to take action, and for fear of retaliation. However, it is the responsibility of all attorneys to become allies in challenging racism in all of its forms - unintended or otherwise. By empowering legal professionals to take positive action steps in moments when bias manifests (even at the unconscious level), leaders at law firms and other legal organizations can transform workplace cultures into environments that are inclusive, equitable, and affirming for all employees.
This program, taught by Suzanne Cerra and Katherin Nukk-Freeman, will equip attorneys with the skills to become true allies, to identify incidents of racism and speak out against them, and to go from "bystander" to "upstander."
- Identify instances of bias in the legal workplace, and respond effectively
- Discuss the responsibility of leaders in the legal profession to cultivate an atmosphere that discourages bias and encourages upstanders to act
- Cultivate the skills attorneys need to intervene in racist incidents in the workplace
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