Making the Connection

Diversity extends far beyond issues of black and white.

A couple of years ago, I observed with my oldest daughter, then 12 years old, our annual ritual in celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. We drove to the "Sweet Auburn" district near downtown Atlanta to be part of the festivities. We heard speeches. We saw people of every conceivable ethnic background and nationality gather to honor Dr. King on the national monument grounds. Then we settled in on the sidewalk of Auburn Ave. near the steps of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church to take in the King Day parade.

As the parade began, we saw the regular assortment of King Day

During my father's civil rights movement, lawyers led the way. Through creative and passionate advocacy, they lowered the institutional barriers of segregation, disenfranchisement and denial of basic humanity that crushed the hopes of the descendants of U.S. chattel slavery. I am a direct beneficiary of their work.

But what of my daughters' civil rights movement? What will that generation say of our collective resolve as lawyers to lower barriers and unleash the untapped energy of those not currently at "the table?" As in-house lawyers, are we not extraordinarily better equipped to drive diversity in comparison to our under-resourced, outsider, anti-establishment civil rights lawyer predecessors?

John Lewis Jr.

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.