November 2020

Moments and Movements

A Publication of the Venable Success Network

3 min

Welcome to the first issue of the Venable Success Network's (VSN) newsletter, Moments and Movements. VSN is a firm affinity group that supports the advancement of our African American professionals. Moments and Movements will highlight the activities and achievements of VSN and its members. We'll also share information about upcoming events and news of our efforts to inspire meaningful change within the firm and beyond.

The Quest for African American Full Citizenship

In September, Venable alum Judge Robert L. Wilkins joined partner Claude Bailey for a discussion of his collaboration with Congressman John Lewis to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture, his own involvement with the ongoing struggle for racial justice in America, and the genealogical discoveries he made through decades of personal research. This event was co-sponsored by the Washington Bar Association.

Venable Partner Gordon Davis Named a Living Landmark

A driving force in the restoration of city parks, a principal founder of the Central Park Conservancy, and one of the creators of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Venable real estate partner Gordon Davis has been recognized as a Living Landmark for his outstanding contributions to New York City.

Kids' Reading Circles

Open to young family members of Venable employees and clients, our popular reading circles allowed participants to explore and enjoy our diverse history through a selection of age-appropriate books.

VSN Member Activity

Justin Pierce, co-chair of Venable's Intellectual Property Division, presented awards to the winners at the virtual 2020 Diversity in Tech & IP Awards ceremony. Venable sponsored the awards, which were created by the IP section of the National Bar Association to recognize the individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in the technology industry.

Gueter Aurelien, an associate in our Baltimore office, was selected to participate in the prestigious year-long Executive Alliance mentoring program, which provides individual guidance and professional skills to help mid-level women achieve their career goals. Gueter was also selected to participate in Merck's Diversity Mentoring Program, where she will work with a Merck attorney to learn more about the company and to develop effective strategies for working with in-house counsel.

And Nikki Hasselbarth, an associate in our Los Angeles office, is participating in the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's (MCCA) Sources of Success training program, which focuses on identifying successful career strategies and helping attorneys develop leadership and management skills.

Learning Corner

As part of our internal efforts to promote discussion and understanding of past and present-day racism, VSN has compiled a resource guide to articles, books, podcasts, films, videos, and tv shows. This quarter, we would like to highlight a compelling three-part documentary, The Power of an Illusion, which scientifically deconstructs the myth that racial classifications have any biological basis.

Among other resources we recommend are Peggy McIntosh's insightful article, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack; Courtney Ariel's forthright advice in a Soujourners magazine feature, For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies; Michelle Alexander's bestseller, The New Jim Crow, a groundbreaking analysis of the mass incarceration of millions of African Americans; Carol Anderson's White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, a stunning account of the white anger that has fueled tensions in Ferguson and elsewhere; and 13th, the powerful Netflix documentary about slavery's legacy.