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January 21, 2022

Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award

Recognizing the ABA Judicial Division for its Diversity Day Project

Azuka Dike

The Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award honors one ABA Section, Division, or Forum that has demonstrated substantial commitment and made a measurable impact on diversity and inclusion (e.g., race and ethnicity, gender, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals etc.) during one or both of the previous bar years. The Commission highlights the winning program to provide a successful model, which can be adopted by other entities seeking to meaningfully advance diversity and inclusion outcomes. 

This year, The Commission on Racial and Ethic Diversity in the Profession proudly recognizes and celebrates the third recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award, the ABA Judicial Division for its Diversity Day Program.

Since 2000, the Judicial Division has hosted Diversity Day, which hosts diversity and inclusion programming the day prior to the ABA Midyear and Annual Meetings. The goal of their programming is simple: to raise awareness and understanding among members of the Judicial Division (and others) of the vital role that diversity and inclusion play in the judiciary and the need to build a more diverse pipeline for judicial candidates.

Diversity Day begins with a Youth Outreach Program. During the program, members of the Judicial Division, along with volunteer lawyers, partner with a local high school or a summer program to discuss the role of the judiciary in the rule of law, the importance of civic engagement, and career opportunities in the legal profession. Following the program, the Judicial Division’s Diversity Committee meets to discuss the Youth Outreach Program and how to improve its future programming. The Judicial Division uses the insights gained from these discussions to set the framework for programming throughout the rest of the year.

Diversity Day ends with the Judicial Division hosting an evening panel and reception where young lawyers and law students are given access to a variety of experienced judges willing to discuss their respective paths to the bench, how attendees can achieve their legal or judicial career goals, the importance of a diverse bench, and other diversity issues that persist in the judiciary. 

The Commission applauds the generous access provided by members of the Judicial Division. Their efforts play a critical role in building equity in our legal system and developing the next generation of legal professionals. We thank the Judicial Division for their work in advancing racial and ethnic diversity in the profession. 

Learn more about the Diversity & Inclusion Award, or nominate an entity for 2023.

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