Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Since its founding, our Firm has been committed to equality and justice for all people under law. Many of our attorneys, paralegals, and staff members have furthered this commitment in their professional and personal lives, including through pro bono work, high-profile civil rights litigation, and non-profit and bar service. In 2018, our Firm formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee as another, important mechanism for fostering these values within our firm.
Mission Statement for DEI Committee
The mission of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is to recommend and implement strategic initiatives and programs that will cultivate a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just environment where diverse individuals may succeed and advance professionally and personally and that will demonstrate the firm’s commitment to these ideals within the firm and to our outside community.
We have worked on some of the largest civil rights cases in the region, which have had major implications both locally and nationally. We have not hesitated to take such cases simply because of the potential for controversy. Those cases include Obergefell v. Hodges (marriage equality), George v. Hargett (process for amending the state constitution), and Villegas v. Metropolitan Government of Davidson County (shackling of an undocumented immigrant during childbirth).
Our Position on Racial Disparities
The Firm issued the following statement in summer 2020: And Justice for All. As lawyers this is a phrase that has guided and inspired us both individually and as a profession. We have recited it thousands of times as part of our Pledge of Allegiance. The events of the past days have been a profound reminder that our work to make it a reality has not been successful.
We at Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison add our voice to those of so many others in condemning the cruel and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others; the personal and systemic racism that contributed to their deaths and that of so many others; and efforts to deny or minimize the historical and present effects of racism in our society. We are disheartened that universal fidelity to the equal worth of all persons has not yet been accomplished in a nation where our highest court convenes under the words “Equal Justice Under Law.”
Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison has worked inside and outside the courtroom for basic human and civil rights in several areas over the years, including those involving racial justice, gender equality, sexual orientation, immigration status, and voting rights in a continued effort to seek justice for all. But we can do more. We must do more. And we will do more. We reaffirm our commitment to fighting racism and protecting the basic liberties of all persons by stating now what should be self-evident and universally accepted: Black Lives Matter.
We intend that our work and actions in this area to be evident to all. We will hold ourselves accountable for these commitments and invite others to do so as well. We will begin by renewing our commitment to support, with our time and other resources, organizations that work for justice and against racism. Conversely, we will not support organizations that fail to commit themselves, in both their words and their actions, to the principles of diversity, equality under the law, and justice for all persons. We will use the tragedy of these deaths to renew our commitment to justice and the voices of protest in opposition and to strive to create a more diverse law firm and more just community, and to achieve the benefits and blessings of equality in our community. And justice for all.