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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Value Adopted

The North Carolina Bar Foundation values diversity, equity and inclusion.

The NCBF Task Force on Recognition and Grant Recommendations was formed following the completion of the Report on Relationships Between the NCBA and Systemic Racism in 2020. Its charge included making recommendations “regarding appropriate grant and program initiatives to encourage greater equity, diversity and inclusion in the practice of law and delivery of legal services in North Carolina.”

Tammy Stringer chaired the Task Force, whose members also included Jonathan Bogues, Stuart Dorsett, Arnita Dula, Phyllis Pickett, Dick Thigpen and Matt Wolfe. At the final meeting of the Task Force on Recognition and Grant Recommendations, its members discussed the addition of a diversity-focused value that has since been adopted by the NCBF Board of Directors and incorporated into the Foundation’s mission, vision and values statement.

“Our values say who we are and guide us in what we do,” said Jon Heyl, who served as NCBA and NCBF President in 2021-22. “We have truly lived by, and designed our programs around, the values we say we embrace as a Foundation. We are grateful to the Foundation’s Task Force for so effectively articulating the [DEI] value, the addition of which will ensure we keep awareness and consideration of these important issues at the forefront.”

“In living up to its creed to espouse the values of justice, professionalism and giving back to the community through service and civic education, the NCBF recognizes that without the presence of persons from diverse and inclusive backgrounds, those ideals cannot be realized in their comprehensive fullness,” said Clayton Morgan, who is serving as NCBA and NCBF President in 2022-23. “Therefore, through the work of the recent Task Force, the NCBF has now decisively expressed the intrinsic value of including DEI amongst these vital core values – an addition which safeguards a sustained focus and mindfulness for us all.”

The complete NCBF Values Statement now reads as follows‭:‬

We value access to justice‭. ‬

We believe access is an intrinsic part of justice and are committed to ensuring equal access for all by giving generously to‭, ‬and using our civic‭ ‬influence on behalf of‭, ‬organizations that provide pro bono legal services‭.‬

We value service‭. ‬

We are passionate about opportunities to use our education and experience to be of service to our fellow North Carolinians‭, ‬and‭ ‬we are proud of our flagship pro bono and public service projects that allow volunteer lawyers‭, ‬paralegals and law students to strengthen and improve their communities all across our state‭.‬

We value education‭. ‬

We embrace our role as educators and are enthusiastic about helping our fellow North Carolinians‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬both schoolchildren and adults‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬understand and have confidence in the rule of law and our justice system‭.‬

We value professionalism‭. ‬

We take to heart our professional obligations as lawyers to make a difference‭. ‬We actively cultivate a culture of service‭, ‬invest in training lawyer leaders and use innovative approaches to bring North Carolina lawyers together to work alongside one another for the common good‭.‬

We value diversity‭, ‬equity and inclusion‭. ‬

We acknowledge and are committed to addressing inequities in access to legal services and participation in the legal profession‭ ‬experienced by historically excluded or disadvantaged individuals and communities in North Carolina‭.‬

This article is part of the 2022 Impact Report. Access the 2022 Impact Report webpage.