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Instant Insights / A National Conversation on Racism: the Legal Profession's Role in Driving Equality

The tragedy of George Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer has spurred a renewed conversation about who we are as a country. In the legal sphere, we are seeing members of the community come together and look inward, asking what they can do to better confront racism and inequality. At ALM, our reporters and editors have interviewed diverse law firm leaders, general counsel and law deans, as well as allies, about where the blindspots are and where we go from here. A collection of some of that coverage, along with photography from the protests and spot news, is below.

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Sophia Lee of Blank Rome Copyright 2017, Gittings/Courtesy photo Sophia Lee of Blank Rome Copyright 2017, Gittings/Courtesy photo

The Philadelphia Diversity Law Group stands in solidarity and in allyship with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues and communities. We denounce anti-Asian racism and violence. We denounce racism, bigotry, violence and harassment of any kind. We recognize and understand the impact and toll anti-Asian racism and violence have taken on our AAPI colleagues and on all our colleagues who are concerned for their families and loved ones. We also feel compelled to use our bully pulpit to inform the broader legal community about anti-Asian racism and the historical context that underlies its perpetuation.

It was the tragic events of March 16 in the Greater Atlanta area—where eight people were shot and killed, six of whom were women of Asian descent—that have at last focused the national spotlight on the increasing reports of violence against members of the AAPI community. The national coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian discrimination amid the pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate, issued a report that collected nearly 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian verbal harassment, physical assault and civil rights violations between March 2020 and February 2021. Pennsylvania ranked as the fifth-highest state for reports of anti-Asian discrimination. The rise in incidents can be attributed to anti-Asian sentiment that has been stoked after the labeling of the pandemic virus as the “Chinese virus,” the “China virus” and the “kung flu.” The violence against AAPIs is continuing coast-to-coast with increasingly brutal attacks on elderly AAPIs captured on video.

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