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News, Events, & Initiatives

The following provides a compilation of the firm's ongoing DE&I News, Events, and Initiatives across our network of offices.


NEWS


EVENTS

  • A Conversation on Trans Rights Advocacy in Texas
    The firm recently hosted an important event in Austin, titled “A Conversation on Trans Rights Advocacy in Texas.” The discussion included Baker Botts lawyers Derek McDonald, Maddy Dwertman, and Brandt Thomas Roessler. They were joined by Nicholas “Guilly” Guillory—Lambda Legal’s Tyron Garner Memorial Law Fellow whose work centers on LGBTQ+ BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) and BIPOC living with HIV. The discussion included a variety of pressing LGBTQ+ civil rights issues in Texas, including:
    • Governor Abbott’s recent directive broadening the definition of “child abuse” to encompass the provision of gender-affirming medical care to trans adolescents and instructing the State to investigate it as such;
    • Baker Botts, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU’s representation of plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the Governor’s directive and the resulting DFPS investigations into the families of transgender children;
    • The hardships and harms experienced by Texas families as a result of the State’s actions; and
    • Other anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ laws and policies that Texas and other states are pursuing.
  • Juneteenth and OBWS
    Juneteenth is the oldest public observance of the end of slavery in the U.S., celebrating the formerly enslaved Black women and men who learned that they had been freed more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and months after the end of the Civil War. In honor of the holiday, we invited Mandy Bowman, CEO of Official Black Wall Street (OBWS), to record a video to discuss the launch of the organization’s new app and the significance of Juneteenth in advancing Black economic wealth. Click here to watch the video.
  • Firm Welcomes Gold Star Parent at Memorial Day Event
    In commemoration of Memorial Day, we were honored to welcome Khizr Khan, a constitutional rights advocate, Muslim American patriot, and Gold Star parent, for a conversation hosted by our BB Vets Affinity Group in May. Mr. Khan, who served as a foreign lawyer in our Houston office in the early 1980s, became well-known from his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in which he held up his pocket U.S. Constitution when discussing the sacrifices of his son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. Baker Botts regularly honors the men and women who died while in the performance of their duties in the military. Mr. Khan was recently named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Biden. 
  • AANHPI Heritage Month
    May was Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month – a time to honor and pay tribute to the culture, traditions and history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The theme of this year’s Heritage Month was “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration,” in which local and national governments were encouraged to prioritize collaboration, development, diversity, transparency and inclusion through leadership training of AANHPI people. As part of our commemoration of this important month, we were joined last month for a virtual fireside chat by Richard Liu. Richard is the first Asian American male to anchor a daily cable news program, and discussed how ongoing hate incidents are a symptom of a selfish pandemic. The event was hosted by our Asian Pacific American (APA) affinity group, led by Ali Dhanani.

INITIATIVES

  • Pride In Action
    The firm recently launched a new initiative aimed at formalizing and expanding its current LGBTQ+ pro bono practice: Pride In Action. Pride In Action comprises a diverse group of the firm's highly engaged lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff who have committed thousands of hours to pro bono matters in pursuit of justice and equality for LGBTQ+ people. This initiative aims to provide additional structure for the firm’s LGBTQ+ pro bono advocacy, including creating a space for lawyers to share resources and knowledge across different matters, and by establishing a network of volunteers eager to assist on new LGBTQ+ pro bono matters. Pride In Action also leverages the firm’s resources to deepen relationships with non-profit advocacy organizations and to explore opportunities for collaboration with firm clients on LGBTQ+ pro bono matters.