Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council

24 Apr 2015 9:45 AM | Anonymous

Name: Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council


Structure: The Leadership Council shall be the only diversity related Article 11 Advisory committee.


Mission: To be the leader in the advocacy and promotion of historically discriminated groups within the MSBA and the legal profession, through an inclusive culture where various viewpoints, experiences, and beliefs are respected and considered.


Expectations: The Leadership Council shall:


1.       Determine how to make diversity and inclusion in the legal profession a priority within the state;

2.       Determine how to make diversity and inclusion a priority within the MSBA;

3.       Work to advance representation and inclusion of historically underrepresented persons, including, but not limited to: communities of color, women, LGBT and persons with disabilities;

4.       Provide consistent ongoing communication with MSBA internal leadership (i.e. the MSBA Council and Assembly);

5.       Provide regular communication with members and outside organizations;

6.       Connect with diverse legal communities, and

7.       Regularly participate in diversity education.


The Leadership Council has the necessary autonomy to create the strategies and methods of implementation to meet the stated expectations.


Meetings: During its first year, the Leadership Council shall meet at least once every other month to establish a strategic plan.


Beginning its second year, the Leadership Council shall meet no less than quarterly in conjunction with the MSBA Assembly.


Make-up of the Leadership Council: The Leadership Council shall have a minimum of seven (7), and no more than nine (9), members. Seven members must represent at least one of the below diverse communities:


1.       African-Americans;

2.       Asian Pacific Islanders;

3.       Hispanic/Latinos;

4.       LGBT;

5.       Native Americans;

6.       Women; or

7.       Persons with disabilities.


In addition, up to two seats will be reserved for at-large committee members.


The Leadership Council shall have a Chair position (with a term no longer than two years) that shall be the voice of the Council at Assembly meetings.


Terms: The terms of membership on the Leadership Council shall be staggered in one, two, and three year increments. No member may serve for more than two terms.  Staggered terms and term limits ensure that there is always varied diversity of persons, ages, professional, and personal experiences.


Communication: The Leadership Council shall be in direct communication with MSBA staff, leadership and decision making bodies. Therefore the Leadership Council shall have two (2) ex-officio seats for:


1.       The MSBA President, and

2.       The MSBA Director of Diversity and Inclusion.


The Leadership Council shall provide a quarterly report to the Assembly of its work. This report shall be a standing agenda item for all Assembly meetings.


Initial Membership Process: The effectiveness of the Leadership Council depends on its initial members. Therefore, people who meet the below criteria will be personally approached and encouraged to apply. The Stakeholder Representative Group will make the initial member recommendations with input from MSBA’s Director of Diversity. The recommendations will then be submitted to the current MSBA President for approval and appointment.  


Membership Assessment Process: Points are allotted to the following categories to establish suitability for membership:


1.       Experience in working in the area of diversity;

2.       Community service involvement;

3.       Legal practice experience;

4.       MSBA experience;

5.       Other bar association experience;

6.       Diversity scholarly work; and

7.       Personal experience related to diversity.


All members of the Leadership Council must be a MSBA member by the time their term on the Council begins and through its conclusion.


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