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Supporting Diversity in the Community

Supporting Diversity in the Community

Warner attorneys are leaders on issues of diversity in the community and in the legal profession. We believe that our active involvement in diversity issues not only benefits our profession but also helps us gain a clearer understanding of the issues of racism, sexism and prejudice that affect the communities in which we live and work.

Initiatives in which we have been actively involved include:
 
  • Multiracial Association of Professionals: MAP is a group of professionals from all races and backgrounds who come together to promote professional growth, foster diversity and provide community leadership. Our firm was a charter member of MAP, which today is a program of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. By creating a strong network of diverse professionals, MAP helps organizations welcome, retain and connect professionals from ethnic minorities. Several of our attorneys are members of MAP. Our Diversity Partner Rodney Martin is former chair of the MAP Council.

  • Inforum: Warner Norcross + Judd is a Platinum Sponsor of Inforum, a women's networking organization originally founded as the Detroit Women's Economic Club. The mission of Inforum is to strengthen the business climate by creating opportunities for women to lead and succeed. Inforum fosters a diverse group of professional women who share a passion for business growth and success.

    In 2005, Warner Norcross + Judd played a role in developing a West Michigan Chapter of Inforum. Warner Norcross attorney Susan O. Conway serves on the Inforum Board of Directors. One of our partners serves on the West Michigan Advisory Board for the group and 14 of our women attorneys and directors are founding members. We also have more than 25 current members of Inforum. Managing Partner Doug Wagner serves on the Honorary Committee, which meets regularly to offer guidance and support to Inforum West Michigan.

  • Hispanic Center of West Michigan: The Hispanic Center of West Michigan offers a variety of services to the rapidly growing Hispanic community, including assistance in creating and expanding minority-owned businesses. The Center offers Spanish-speaking interpreters as well as translation services in several other languages. Warner attorney Dawn Garcia-Ward sits on the Center's board of directors, serves on the Development Committee and also chairs the Bylaws Committee.

  • BL2END:  Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions was established in Grand Rapids in 2006 to increase the engagement of young professionals of color and to retain them in the Grand Rapids area. BL2END engages in social networking, professional development and community outreach.  We are pleased to serve as general counsel to BL²END. Diversity Partner Rodney Martin serves on BL2END's Advisory Board.

  • Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center: The Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College serves the college and the community by encouraging respect for differences and by promoting inclusion. We are a major financial contributor to the Diversity Learning Center and to its annual Diversity Lecture Series, which has hosted Nikki Giovanni, Barry Scheck, Sherman Alexie, Vali Nasr and Nancy Giles, among others, in its 16-year history.

  • Mock Trial Classes: Several of our attorneys have taught mock trial classes in high schools in Grand Rapids. The classes culminate in a state-wide competition.  Our teams have been the only inner city schools to participate in our region.  Five of the six teams we have coached received an honorable mention.

  • Schools of Hope: Each year we have several attorneys and staff members who volunteer to participate in the Heart of West Michigan United Way’s Schools of Hope program, reading and counseling at-risk elementary school students.

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