September 2021

Diversity and Inclusion at Venable Presents: Moments and Movements

4 min

Moments and Movements

Jennifer ReddienWith a New Chief Diversity Officer in Place, Venable Expands Its DEI Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to expand opportunities for underrepresented groups, to confront explicit and implicit bias, and to build an even more inclusive workplace, Venable has taken significant steps this quarter to advance our DEI efforts. In June, the firm joined the Mansfield Rule 5.0 cohort to track and measure our efforts to boost diversity among our leadership. And in July, we welcomed Jennifer Reddien as our inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer. Under Jennifer's guidance, we look forward to implementing more innovative strategies in the months ahead that will lead to greater progress.

To Advance Understanding of Systemic Racism, Venable Is Hosting Dialogue Circles for All Firm Personnel

As part of our continual efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for education and discussion about racism, we are hosting an ongoing series of explorative dialog circles based on selected readings from the best-selling books Caste and Four Hundred Souls. The goal of these discussions is to advance understanding of the early historical systems, practices, and laws that denied rights and freedoms to individuals on the basis of race, and enabled slavery to thrive. The circles are being facilitated by the esteemed historian John W. Franklin, who has done extensive work on the history of the African Diaspora, the slave trade, and the colonial race-based structures and practices that fomented slavery.

Pride Month at Venable

Venable Pride Month Flag

With law firms playing such an important role in advancing the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community, Venable organized several activities to observe Pride Month, including flying the rainbow flag over our DC headquarters.

(they/them/theirs): A Pride Month Panel on Gender Pronouns and Identity

To increase awareness of the broad spectrum of diverse identities, LGBTQ @ Venable hosted a panel discussion on the use of personal gender pronouns and the importance of allowing everyone the space and freedom to express their true selves.

The Journey from Grief to Gay Rights Advocacy

LGBTQ @ Venable also spoke to Judy Shepard about how she is carrying on her murdered son’s legacy through the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Why Allyship Matters – Q & A with LGBTQ @ Venable Chair Colin Vandell

Venable partner Colin Vandell discussed his involvement in the foundation of LGBTQ @ Venable and spoke about why having robust professional support networks for all underrepresented groups is so important.

The AAPI Experience: A Conversation with Glenn Magpantay

In this conversation to mark #AAPIHeritageMonth, civil rights advocate and lawyer Glenn Magpantay spoke about the recent spike in hate crimes targeted at Asian Americans, and about how this so-called model minority is often overlooked as a community of color.

Attorney Spotlight

Claudia LewisClaudia Lewis Recognized Among MCCA's 2021 Rainmakers

The Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Rainmakers award honors diverse attorneys from across the country who have built their careers through innovative, consistent, and proactive business development. As a Venable partner, board member, and co-chair of the firm's FDA Group, Claudia Lewis attributes her success to learning her craft well, believing in her own capabilities, and being an active participant in her own professional development. This dedication, combined with significant personal and professional support, allowed her to turn "many obstacles into opportunities and missteps into valuable learning experiences." These days, she says, "I try to 'pay it forward' whenever I can, by mentoring all young attorneys, particularly African American women."

Fun Facts about Claudia

My Philosophy
Be prepared, be confident in your own capabilities and meet challenges head on.

First Job
Cashier at K-Mart

Favorite Charity
Salvation Army

To receive updates about Venable’s Diversity and Inclusion activities and programming, please subscribe here.

Diverse. Dynamic. Dedicated.

Diversity BrochureVenable's Diversity and Inclusion Brochure

As a firm, we have long understood the necessity of incorporating a diversity of viewpoints into the solutions we offer our clients. We're pleased to share our latest brochure, which highlights the success of our ongoing efforts to ensure Venable is a place where all voices are represented and heard.