Board statement on nationwide protests
We are saddened and outraged at the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other African-Americans that have sparked nationwide protests against those perpetrating the crimes and, more broadly, against systemic racism in our country, including in our law enforcement and legal systems.
The Covid-19 pandemic has united us in many ways, brought out the best in people every day, encouraged us to look out for each other, and shown that we are all in this together. However, recent events have demonstrated again that we have far to go to achieve the country’s promise of freedom, equality, and justice for all. We must redouble our efforts to live up to these ideals.
Without hard conversations, tough self-reflection, coordinated action, and meaningful changes, real equality, equal protection under the law, and dignity and respect in our treatment of others will remain illusory for too many. The days of protests by tens of thousands of diverse people in cities and towns across the country highlight the need for awareness and action within the bounds of, and consistent with, the laws that govern how we express our views and interact with one another.
We share the conviction that, as legal professionals, we must use the law to create a better, more just society where all citizens are treated equally, have equal opportunity in all aspects of society, and have the reality of the Constitution’s protections of their rights to assemble and speak freely. We must be part of the solution. Each of us has an opportunity to take action. As the Firm’s initial steps, we have offered pro bono assistance to public defenders, legal aid organizations, and law firm groups devoted to representing protestors recently arrested. We also are accelerating the Kolar Foundation’s annual contributions to pro bono, charitable, and community groups to help address urgent needs of those less fortunate.
We recognize, however, that our deep commitment to assisting the underserved in our communities through pro bono work and charitable contributions is not enough. Our attorneys and staff will continue this conversation in the coming days and weeks as we seek to be effective advocates — as a Firm and as citizens — for true equality.