A Safe Space for Diversity: LMA’s 3 New Member Resource Groups
By David Ackert, Ashley Black, Rafeedah Keys
October 06, 2022 | 3-minute read
Marketing Management and Leadership Content Type Article Additional Options Content Level: Essential Content Level: Advanced Firm Size: Small Firm Size: Medium Firm Size: Large
Have you heard? LMA has launched three new Member Resource Groups (MRGs) through the efforts of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The LGBTQ+ and Members of Color MRGs will serve as a safe space for diverse LMA members to come together to discuss issues they face on a daily basis, and the Allies MRG will give members a forum to learn more about supporting diverse individuals in the legal industry and their communities. Learn more about the DEI Committee’s initiative and the MRGs below.
What prompted the MRG initiative?
One of the goals of the DEI Committee was to build new communities within the LMA member body. Given that there was already a DEI shared interest group (SIG) in place, where members could exchange information related to the DEI needs of their firms, we felt it was important to add support groups where underserved members could personally discuss issues related to their unique backgrounds and perspectives.
How did the committee decide on which MRGs to launch this year?
The LMA member body was surveyed to ascertain interest in MRGs. Those who indicated interest were invited to participate in a roundtable session where the concept was discussed and tested. The three groups with the most interest were LGBTQ+, Members of Color (BIPOC), and Allies. All three MRGs launched in September and additional groups will be considered in future years as members indicate their willingness to participate.
How were the facilitators chosen and trained?
The MRG facilitators were selected from the LMA volunteer pool. We looked for volunteers from different backgrounds and a variety of geographical locations within the LMA network.
Each facilitator was required to attend a 90-minute training session that covered topics such as running a meeting, group guidelines and creating a safe place to share ideas. The DEI Committee hopes to offer additional training to facilitators in 2023 to continue the development of these volunteers.
If you are interested in serving as a facilitator in the future, please reach out to the DEI Committee.
What’s next for this initiative?
Ongoing engagement through and with MRGs is critical. They are important channels to provide insight into perspectives and backgrounds that create community and highlight experiences different from our own. In the year ahead, the DEI Committee will continue to poll the membership to measure how different groups experience our organizational culture.
We will also engage MRG members to actively participate in key initiatives, such as contributing content for MRG newsletters, events related to special observance days and other community-building activities. After we host the first few MRG meetings in 2022, we hope you will consider deepening your involvement by sharing ideas you think will make the groups more impactful, and raise your hand to participate in ongoing initiatives.