The Attorneys of Color Affinity Group’s mission is to provide a forum where issues of importance to attorneys of color can be raised in order to facilitate a dialogue with the firm regarding those issues and increase the hiring and retention of attorneys of color.
Originally formed as an affinity group for women of color, in September of 2008, the group’s mission was expanded to include men. This group was also the first group created under the Diversity Committee’s Affinity Group initiative.
The Attorneys of Color Affinity Group focuses on providing opportunities to network and foster informal mentor/peer relationships. It has bimonthly luncheons and regular summer associate luncheons that have featured esteemed guest speakers such as: a member of the Dormitory Authority of NY, an attorney at the United States Department of Justice, and General Counsel of a media and financial services corporation. The luncheons are regularly attended by its Senior Management Partner and attorneys that reflect the cross-section of race and gender at Stroock.
Topics discussed at past luncheons have included: (1) how to develop business; (2) increasing minority representation in the partnership ranks; and (3) opportunities to network through community activism. Programs are typically open to the entire firm and we also invite students of color groups from various local law schools.
Attorneys of Color Affinity Group programs and events have included:
- An annual retreat at the home of the group’s Senior Management Partner.
- An afternoon networking tea featuring guest speaker Angela Burt-Murray, Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine. Ms. Burt-Murray shared her pointers for personal and professional success while moving up the corporate ladder.
- A panel discussion entitled “Voices of Color from the Bench” featuring the Honorable Deborah A. Batts (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York), Honorable Dora L. Irizarry (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York), and Honorable Kiyo A. Matsumoto (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York).
- A celebration of Black History Month and the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides, featuring a special screening of Freedom Riders, a landmark documentary on the 1961 civil rights campaign to end segregated travel on interstate buses, and a panel discussion involving filmmakers and the Honorable Ernst Rosenberger, who represented and defended the Freedom Riders in court.
- Supporting minority affinity groups of local law schools by inviting them to attend our meetings, and attending and supporting their events.
- In honor of the landmark Vincent Chin legal battle, the AOC Affinity Group presented a special screening of the film, Vincent Who?, followed by an informative group discussion and cocktail hour.
- An outing with summer associates to the Contemporary African Art Gallery for a private tour of the “West African Stew” show.
- An evening of Latin jazz at the iconic Nuyorican Poets Café, which followed a small dinner at a Cuban restaurant, Café Cortadito, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.