Our largest office is in Louisville, where Breonna Taylor, an African American emergency room technician, was killed by a barrage of police bullets after a battering ram was used to break down her door. This happened in the middle of the night, in her home, in our community. It shook us to our core.
Ms. Taylor’s death, the death of George Floyd and other unconscionable acts of violence sparked waves of anger and protest across the globe. There is now a renewed energy to address the racial divide and the daily inequities faced by people of color. We will be remiss if we do not seize this opportunity as the catalyst for reform and lasting change.
Talk is cheap. But in this instance, our Firm believes it is important to go on the record and be counted. We reject racism, bigotry, prejudice and violence. We join with those calling for an end to discrimination and perpetual injustice. Equality is a fundamental principal of our nation. Yet today, all in our nation are not treated equally. This is not acceptable. All people, regardless of race, gender, religion, disability, nationality, or sexuality deserve equal treatment. That is more than boilerplate language in an HR policy. It is what we believe and it represents the fundamental promise of what we want America to be.
As lawyers, we are acutely aware that in many respects the legal system is not a neutral dispenser of justice, sometimes in design and other times in administration, and many times in both. Last week, Wyatt joined with 99 other law firms across the nation to form the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (link). Together, as part of this group of 100 firms, we will work to identify and change laws, rules, policies and practices that discriminate against or are used to oppress people of color. We are committed to this important work.
We also remain committed to equity in education and look forward to furthering our work in this area which has spanned decades, from desegregation cases to the landmark Rose decision on school funding in Kentucky. Our work to organize and staff expungement clinics in Kentucky and Tennessee will continue, as will the countless hours our team members commit to local charities and civic organizations working to make a difference.
But our work is not just external. We are also committed to diversity and equality in our Firm. As individuals, we recognize that we are not free from the implicit biases that permeate our society. As a Firm, we will work to embrace diversity and fairness by constantly evaluating our own policies and practices to eliminate bias and by continuing our efforts to include more diversity within our ranks.
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP