MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Vol. 16 No. 1

By

Forum Chair

As an organization, we have undertaken various worthy initiatives over the years. However, there has arguably been no more important initiative undertaken by the Forum than to increase the number of diverse members in the Forum and to encourage their participation in the various Forum activities. This initiative began in approximately 2004, spurred in part by the ABA’s Goal IX Report on racial and ethnic diversity, and in part by Phyllis Alden Truby, the then Governing Committee Liaison to the Women’s Caucus. It was at this time that Forum leadership tasked Phyllis with the job of reaching out to diverse members of the Forum to identify these individuals and encourage their involvement in the Forum. With the support of the Forum’s Governing Committee, Phyllis went about planting the seeds that would lead to the current Diversity Caucus. To that end, Phyllis spearheaded a diversity outreach effort at the 2005 Forum to identify individuals interested in serving on a diversity committee. At that time, the Forum Governing Committee also began an initiative to assist diverse members with identifying leadership opportunities in the Forum. These efforts continued during the 2006 Forum where a program was held on fostering diversity in franchise systems, and further outreach was conducted to those Forum members who self-identified as diverse.

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