Letter from President Greg Watchman: 2021 ACC NCR Racial & Social Justice Challenge & Fundraising Campaign
January 15, 2021
Dear ACC NCR Members, Volunteer Leaders, and Sponsor Representatives:
As President of ACC NCR, I am writing to invite you to join the ACC NCR Racial & Social Justice Challenge and to ask your support for the ACC NCR Racial & Social Justice Fundraising Campaign to benefit the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
The events of 2020 and the first two weeks of 2021 have focused our nation on the profound need to eliminate individual and institutional racial and social injustice from our society. Today would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 92nd birthday. It has been 55 years since Dr. King first talked about the arc of the moral universe, as he stood on the steps of the state capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama after the march from Selma.
It has been 55 years since those hopeful and beautiful words – but systemic racism and inequality still pervade our lives – from education to employment, from housing to criminal justice. Dr. King said the arc is long, but it bends toward justice. However, as we know, that arc will not bend itself. Each and every one of us is needed to help it along. As lawyers, we have both the opportunity and the obligation to be forceful advocates in this regard. The ACC NCR Community is 2,500 attorneys strong – 900 member organizations strong – and 50 sponsors strong – that’s a lot of torque, if we all work together.
The 2021 ACC NCR Racial & Social Justice Challenge
With the support of the ACC NCR Board, the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Forum, and staff, I challenge every one of you – every member, every member organization, and every sponsor – to expand your diversity, equity, & inclusion efforts and to fight for racial and social justice within your communities. If you haven’t joined the fight, suit up; if you’re doing good work already, do more. Sign up to the Challenge here.
Here are three ways we intend to help you do more:
• First, we plan to offer programs, workshops, materials, tools, experts, guidance, mentoring, and other empowering help that members – especially those in small and medium sized legal departments – can utilize to expand their companies’ internal diversity, equity, & inclusion efforts.
• Second, we already connect our members with great pro bono opportunities with the Whitman-Walker Clinic, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, and others, but this year we’ll be looking to identify additional opportunities for ACC NCR members to provide pro bono assistance to leading civil rights groups on racial and social justice litigation and advocacy.
• Third, yesterday we launched our first racial & social justice fundraising campaign to support the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of our nation’s leading civil rights organizations. The breadth of the Committee’s work today is remarkable: Voting rights. Criminal justice. Employment rights. Education. Fair housing. Health care. Immigration. The list goes on. Please kick-start your response to the 2021 ACC NCR Challenge by giving generously to this fantastic organization. Our goal is $40,000 and I’m confident we can raise this amount and more! To donate, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org/accncr.
Accept the Challenge! Sign up to the Challenge here. Keep us posted on your efforts, and we will recognize the most impactful members, organizations, and sponsors at the end of the year. And maybe, just maybe, together we can help to bend that arc.
President, ACC NCR
VP & Deputy General Counsel, Employment Law & Employee Relations, Freddie Mac