Like a lot of you, I watched Hamilton with my family this month. I’ve seen in twice in the theater and you don’t need me to tell you it’s spectacular.
One of the lines at the end of the show always gets me: “And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell our story?”
I’ve been reminded of that over the last month or so as the issues of systemic racism have returned to the headlines.
For workplaces, these discussions aren’t new. And yet, it still seems as though the progress that has been made has stalled recently. Have we grown tired of the conversations? Have we felt like we’ve done enough?
When I was in college, I had the good fortune to have some classes (and a law school recommendation too) by Mary Frances Berry, who went on to Chair the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Professor Berry has written prolifically on systemic racism; one of her quotes that has stuck with me is:
The time when you need to do something is when no one else is willing to do it, when people are saying it can’t be done.
Both the Connecticut Bar Association and the Connecticut Bar Foundation (of which I serve as Chair of the James W. Cooper Fellows) are trying to do something.
Tomorrow evening, we will hold the inaugural event of the Constance Baker Motley Speaker Series on Racial Inequality, an ongoing forum for the Connecticut legal community to explore issues of racial inequality and systemic racism. This virtual event features Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson and Justice Maria A. Kahn and will be moderated by Dean Timothy Fisher of UConn School of Law and Professor Marilyn Ford of Quinnipiac University School of Law.
I’ll be making some introductory remarks.
This series, established by the CBA, Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF), and CBF Fellows, is named in honor of civil rights trailblazer Judge Constance Baker Motley with the goal of supporting and fostering renewed commitment to advancing civil rights and social justice.
I hope you can join us in this conversation. It’s a conversation that every workplace should continue to have as well. Together, we can continue to make a meaningful difference.