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A MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY – Greenberg Traurig’s Social, Racial, and Economic Justice Action Plan

In the face of injustice, Greenberg Traurig’s Social, Racial, and Economic Justice Action Plan commits to upholding the rule of law and equality for all.

More deeply than ever before, we join the voices against racism. We are listening. We see you. We are with you. As lawyers we have a responsibility to drive change, fight injustice, and advocate for justice. Never has it been more critical than now for us to recognize that role and opportunity and to act on it. We do a great deal. But it’s not enough. The murder of George Floyd — and those who came before and since him unfortunately — are stark reminders that we need to do more and stand up and ensure justice and respect for all. This is our time to listen. To have those uncomfortable conversations. To have the courage to act and to do our part. It is way past time.

More than ever, all of us need to come together.

TAKING ACTION; DRIVING FORWARD

Diversity, equity, inclusion and respect for the individual are part of GT’s core values. We have redoubled our commitment to live and act on those values through the pillars of our Social, Racial, and Economic Justice Action Plan. These pillars focus on serving as community leaders, supporting and training our talent, and supporting programs that address systemic racism in our society and seek to provide impoverished communities and individuals with essential economic, social, and cultural rights.

GT is proud to commit $5 Million over the next five years to support programs that address the causes and effects of systematic racism in our society, and seek to provide impoverished communities and individuals economic, social, and cultural rights.  One of the marquee components of this commitment will be supporting GT’s Equal Justice Works fellows dedicated to addressing racial, social, and economic justice issues.

GT has updated guidelines for the firm’s U.S. associates intended to reward and incentivize participation in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as Community and Civic activities effective July 1, 2020. Associates will receive up to 50 hours of billable equivalent credit for work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and 25 hours for activities that serve to advance Community and Civic interests. The firm’s associates also receive 100 hours of billable equivalent credit for pro bono legal work, 25 of which are mandatory for associates.

GT has rolled out the Social Justice Action Academy with aims to: 

  • Educate and train GT employees on matters of race, justice, and equity;
  • Facilitate and encourage Courageous Conversations on the topics of race and social justice; and
  • Drive forward meaningful change consistent with the action plan.

The Equality Toolkit, a key Academy offering, is designed to address the need for education, resources, and information to equip members of the GT community to be leaders within the firm, with our clients and business partners, and the communities in which we work and live on topics of race, inclusion, and equity.

The Academy’s “Courageous Conversations” includes a series of internal and external programs where we will have the chance to hear about personal experiences, as well as what others are learning – all with the goal of elevating our collective empathy and creating positive change.

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020 the first public Courageous Conversation, Running a Business in a Socially “Woke” World took place featuring Marc Morial of the National Urban League in conversation with GT Co-President Ernest L. Greer and Shareholder Johnine P. Barnes.

In June 2020 Greenberg Traurig raised nearly $110,000 for more than 31 charitable organizations focused on racial, social, and economic justice reform. We will continue to coordinate related staff and lawyer volunteer opportunities in furtherance of equity and what is right.

On Friday, June 19, 2020, Greenberg Traurig observed Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a firm holiday in our U.S. offices. We do this in continued solidarity with all who seek a better way forward and as part of our Social, Racial and Economic Justice Action Plan.

BLACK VOICES

Below are published Op-Ed columns written by Ernest GreerJaret Davis, and Michael Pratt. Ernest is one of the most senior Black leaders in any international law firm. Jaret has grown up at GT, joining as a summer associate and becoming a respected and cherished leader in South Florida. Michael is an accomplished litigator in our Philadelphia office. Please read these – and listen. We can all learn so much from them.

August 31, 2020 | Ernest LaMont Greer
BigLaw Needs More Underrepresented Attorneys As Leaders

June 18, 2020 | A. Michael Pratt | The American Lawyer
A Black Father's Letter to His Black Son: 'My Mission Is to Keep You Safe'

June 03, 2020 | Jaret L. Davis | The Miami Herald
Jaret Davis, power lawyer and ‘large black man:’ Admitting mutual pain is first step

May 31, 2020 | Ernest LaMont Greer | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Opinion: America has lost its heart and that hurts us all