In May 2020, the death of George Floyd sparked outrage across the country & compelled individuals to forgo the safety of their pandemic confinement to take to the streets & demand accountability & change. Not long after, businesses began to speak out to various degrees- spanning social media posts, executive statements, renewed anti-racism commitments, & a windfall of donations. Corporate powerhouses such as NASCAR, Adidas, PepsiCo, Paypal & Twitter were just a few of the names to take action, ranging from banning the confederate flag to increasing the representation of managers identifying as POC.
Now, as we reflect upon the past year, we ask ourselves what the corporate role is in contributing to & sustaining this social movement? Both top-down from a management perspective, & bottom-up from an employee perspective, how can professionals deliver upon the promises they made & realize lasting progress in the workplace?
On July 27th, join the FACC-NY HR & Mobility Committee & guest speaker Joseph West, Partner & Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Duane Morris LLP to explore this topic. In addition to his active legal practice, Mr. West has spoken to numerous outlets on the topic of diversity, including Stanford Law, contributed to Human Resources Executive Magazine, & was named a recipient of the Chambers & Partners Minority Lawyer of the Year Award. In 2020, his op-ed The Talk went viral for its unfiltered account of life in America as a minority, & the reality of the difficult conversations parents face when teaching their children to navigate complex relationships of race, power & policing.
Mr. West will be joined by moderator Sonya Sepahban, CEO & Co-founder at OurOffice, for a lively fireside chat format, followed by Q&A from the audience.
Joseph K. West is a partner Duane Morris' Trial Practice Group & practices in the area of complex litigation, handling a variety of matters in areas including, but not limited to, class actions, insurance litigation, commercial litigation, zoning & land use, catastrophic injury, products liability, & labor & employment. Mr. West is also a member of the firm's Partners Board & serves as the firm's Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, in which capacity he manages Duane Morris' comprehensive firm-wide diversity & inclusion program & he chairs the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Practice. Mr. West advises domestic & global companies on a wide array of legal issues, & also represents, trains & advises numerous associations & companies, including publicly traded companies & their boards & CEOs, on issues related to diversity & inclusion & the compliance, risk management & corporate strategies associated with these issues. He helped establish the first of its kind law firm diversity & inclusion consulting practice at the firm, which has been cited for its innovative approach to crafting sustainable diversity & inclusion programs & solutions for corporate entities. His clients range from startups to Fortune 500 companies & currently include Walmart Stores, Exxon Mobil, The Carolina Panthers, the Dubai-based Al Ahli Holding Group, Mercedes Benz-USA, Altria, Discover Financial Services & Jabil Circuit
Sonya Sepahban is the CEO & Co-founder at OurOffice. She started as an astronaut wannabe & NASA engineer & quickly rose to CTO & business leadership roles with significant P/L, managing large global teams. Sonya's system engineering background & first-hand experience with the challenges in improving D&I in her own teams led her to join hands with others who share her passion to start OurOffice, the first integrated technology platform for managing Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging.