Helsell Fetterman Commits to Do the Hard and Necessary Work to Eradicate Racism, Confront Bias, and Achieve Justice.
Helsell Fetterman stands against racism. We are a caring and welcoming workplace where we respect and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) both in our office and in the world around us. We pledge to address racism within and beyond the walls of our workplace, for racism is embedded in our society and our law firm must do its part to confront racism and social injustice. We pledge to address harmful effects inflicted by racist speech and behavior and the systemic structures that stand as obstacles to racial equity.
Being anti-racist is more than not being racist. Being anti-racist is more than prohibiting race discrimination in our workplace. And being anti-racist is more than taking a position against racism and social injustice. Being anti-racist is about affirmatively engaging in an active and conscious process of identifying and dismantling racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices, and attitudes so that power is redistributed and shared equitably
The Firm acknowledges that racism can be unconscious or unintentional, and that identifying racism as an issue does not automatically mean those involved in the act are racist or intended a negative impact. As an anti-racism organization, we pledge to purposefully identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race and color and the impacts they have on our law firm and our people and systems. We will also challenge ourselves to understand and correct any inequities we may discover and gain a better understanding of ourselves with purposeful process.
The Firm commits:
- to explicitly and publicly affirm our identity as an anti-racist law firm
- to reflect our anti-racism commitment in the operations and culture of our law firm through policies, practices, and interactions
- to develop and work to implement strategies, policies, and practices that dismantle racism within all aspects of our law firm, the bar and our society
- to be intentional and meaningful in choosing how the Firm expends its resources
- to continue to learn about the negative impacts of racism and how to dismantle and eradicate it, and develop our operations and culture as we gain a deeper understanding of our role and identity as an anti-racist law firm
The Firm strives to be a leader in the legal profession and our broader community on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism, and adopts this position as the standard for our firm. We expect all individuals associated with the Firm to support that standard. Actions, rather than words, are necessary for the Firm to meet this standard, and our personnel are empowered to dismantle racism within and beyond our workplace.
In an effort to address the particular pernicious and destructive effects of racism, the Firm has taken the following steps:
- Antiracism Policy: The Firm has adopted an Anti-Racism Policy prohibiting language, acts, decisions, and other conduct by a partner, employee, client or third party that exhibits racism.
- Client Engagement. Upon engagement by a new client, the Firm will inform the client of our anti-racism policy and our expectations as to how the client will conduct itself with respect to race in the course of our representation.
- Attorney DEI Compensation. In recognition of the importance of DEI work to our Firm and the greater community, the Firm will compensate attorneys for such work.
- Observance of Juneteenth. To honor and celebrate the events of June 19, 1865 and the significance of those events, the Firm has declared Juneteenth (June 19) as an annual, paid Firm holiday.
- Vendor Diversity Program. When considering the renewal of or new entry into a Firm Vendor engagement, Firm Management will consider BIPOC-friendly businesses and will strive to prioritize the Firm’s support of local BIPOC-friendly businesses. Additionally, the Firm will encourage attorneys, when recommending or selecting vendors for a client matter, to consider engaging qualified BIPOC-friendly businesses.
- Firm Philanthropy. When engaging in philanthropy and charitable giving, the Firm will prioritize organizations whose missions are aligned toward serving or improving underserved BIPOC persons or communities and/or anti-racism in our community.
- Other Outreach. The Firm will engage in other outreach that serves or benefits underserved BIPOC persons or communities and/or anti-racism in our community, and organizations whose missions are aligned toward serving or improving such persons, communities or anti-racism. One example of such outreach is the recently implemented Helsell Fetterman Spotlights program, whereby the Firm will choose a different minority-owned business each month to promote, support, and showcase.
- Training. The Firm is committed to ongoing training in order to educate and prepare employees, supervisors and partners to identify, avoid, and respond to racist conduct.
BIPOC = Black, Indigenous and People of Color