At Burr & Forman, we seek to educate ourselves and the public about the history of diverse communities as well as ongoing challenges and solutions related to DEI. Below are links to some of our recent DEI programs and podcasts.
Key Takeaways from 2021 Women in Leadership Webinar (3-31-2021) – In honor of Women’s History Month, Burr & Forman hosted a virtual program on the topic of Women in Leadership. Burr & Forman’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Tamika Walters, moderated a diverse panel of female CEOs and General Counsel, including: Lindsey Miller, CEO and founder of Battle Republic, Staci Pierce, CEO and former GC of Action, Tara Plimpton, GC of Regions Bank, Teresa B. Wilson, City Manager of Columbia South Carolina. Panelists shared their inspiring paths to leadership, including obstacles they overcame, their strategies for success, and insights on how to make the path to leadership more equitable for all.
Women’s History—Ancient Women Lawyer-Scribes (3-26-2021) – Who were the first women lawyers? Based on what we now know from archaeology and ancient artifacts, the answer may surprise you. This podcast examines the role of women as “lawyer-scribes” in ancient Mesopotamia, Canaan and Egypt—sometimes referred to as “the cradle of civilization.” Research on legal contracts and proceedings, as well as religious texts and images from these cultures, provide clues on women’s roles in the law in ancient history. What can the experiences of these women teach us about the need for gender equity, diversity, and inclusion today? This podcast is hosted by Burr’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Tamika Walters, and Partner Ed Snow from the firm’s Atlanta office.
Black History—Augusta Baker: Twentieth Century Librarian, Author and Champion of Inclusive Literature (2-24-2021) – What do Sesame Street, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mary Poppins all have in common? They are all a part of Augusta Baker’s inspiring story. Learn about this trailblazing, glass-ceiling-breaking champion of inclusive children’s literature. Rather than accepting the negative and limiting depictions of African Americans that predominated children’s literature in the 1930s, Augusta dedicated 40+ years of her life to changing the narrative. Hear all about her story from Partner Pam Baker in this touching episode of the Burr & Forman podcast series. The podcast is hosted by Burr’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Tamika Walters, from the firm’s Atlanta office, and Burr Partner Pam Baker from the firm’s Columbia office.
What was Black History Like Before the Slave Trade? (2-22-2021) – During this program, Professor Samuel Livingston, Director of the African American Studies Program at Morehouse College, joined Burr’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Tamika Walters, in a discussion on the history of West African civilizations during the centuries leading up to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The webinar highlights the medieval empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay, using ancient historical accounts and modern archeological findings. This program challenges the notion of Africa having no history and sheds light on the importance of West Africa in international trade, manufacturing, and scholarship during the Middle Ages.
Black History—The Shaw Center – Protecting Black Property Ownership (2-17-2021) – In this special episode of the Burr & Forman podcast honoring Black History Month 2021, we are joined by Burr Partner, Adam Artigliere, to talk about the George and Roszena Shaw Center for Housing and Economic Growth. Adam Artigliere sheds light on a Clemson, SC-based non-profit that is fighting for economic growth and housing equity, and the role our firm has played in the effort. In his remarks, Adam discusses the historical role of real estate in wealth creation in the United States, discriminatory policies and practices that generally barred African Americans from experiencing this wealth, and modern attempts to provide legal and financial assistance to African Americans who are seeking to protect and benefit from their real estate holdings. The podcast is hosted by Adam Artigliere, a partner in the firm’s Greenville, SC office.
Women’s Podcast Series—Episode 3 “A New Reality: Surviving and Thriving While Working Remotely” (10-26-2020) – In episode 3 of the Women’s Podcast Series, Burr partner Ginger Busby is joined by special guest Teresa Hairston, the Diversity and Inclusion Engagement Leader at Mercedes-Benz USA, to discuss the new reality of working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The women talk about how to survive working remotely both mentally and physically, and the best practices for a productive remote working environment. This episode is hosted by Ginger Busby from the firm’s Birmingham, AL office.
Women’s Podcast Series—Episode 2 “Managing Stress & Anxiety” (9-8-2020) – In episode 2 of the Women’s Podcast Series, Burr partner Callie Whatley discusses managing stress and anxiety during the current pandemic. She is joined by Carissa Dore, a licensed psychotherapist and owner of “Every Girl Living”, a company focused on helping women heal, grow, and conquer the challenges they face. Callie is a partner in the firm’s Birmingham office and serves as the firm’s Corporate and Tax Group Vice-Chair.
Women’s Podcast Series—Episode 1 “Work-Life Balance” (8-21-2020) – The Women’s Podcast Series will talk about work/life balance, managing stress and anxiety, and career development. Erin Hewitt is kicking off the series with special guest Madeline McGrane, a friend and client of hers, to talk about work/life balance and what that looks like in a remote working environment. Erin Hewitt is a partner in the firm’s Atlanta office and serves as the practice group leader for the firm’s Real Estate Practice.
Retiring the Mississippi State Flag: One Attorney’s Push and Perspective (8-18-2020) – Jackson partner John Lassiter tells the story of his involvement in the retirement of Mississippi’s state flag. Born and raised in Mississippi, John regarded getting Mississippi’s state flag as an impossible task in a State with a history riddled with racial division, fear and deep-seeded politics. Listen to John talk about the effects the old flag had on the state’s economy and his idea to place NCAA sports at the center of the case for change.