In the midst of the pandemic, the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG) turned 20. The reasons why PDLG was formed remain as true today as they did in 2001—the pressing need to foster participation of a more diverse group of lawyers in the Greater Philadelphia region in order to make our legal profession stronger, more productive, and more equitable and inclusive. Some have said that the renewed focus on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts (DEI) is quickly passing as we find ourselves over 18 months out from the murder of George Floyd and the racial justice movement that followed. Others have wondered whether DEI has become a cliché term devoid of meaning. We hope that neither is true as much work remains to be done and we believe that most people are sincere in their desire to make significant progress.
We know that much remains to be done as we hear younger Black associates express exhaustion at having to walk the tightrope between showing confidence and acknowledging constructive criticism. We know that work remains to be done when many of us immediately recognize the pet-to-threat syndrome as something that happened to us. We know that work remains to be done when our AAPI colleagues express fear for their older family members. We know that work remains when microaggressions continue to stall our growth and the inclusion of all in the workplace. The examples are myriad—each circumstance may seem unique but it is essential for us to confront all of them as they impact real change.