Invested and Vigilant

The Contra Costa County Bar Association understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. CCCBA’s Diversity Committee’s goal is to promote and retain diverse individuals and firms to join the ranks in Contra Costa County. We do this through dedicated activities including a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, the award-winning Diversity Award Checklist program, a Diversity MCLE program called “Investing in the Future of Diversity,” a Judicial Mentoring Program, and networking events such as the Annual Lunar New Year and the Annual Networking with the Minority Bar Coalition.

This year, the Diversity Committee is hosting its second Racial Reconciliation Forum. In this issue, Qiana Washington gives us a recap of last year’s Forum and what to expect this year in the Spotlight section. James Wu addresses current diversity in the Contra Costa legal community from the perspective of several attorneys. As an officer of the bench, Judge Benjamin Reyes II has experienced his own hurdles and in his article, he promotes a more welcoming environment for an increasingly diverse legal community. Summer Selleck reminds us that diversity and inclusion as a communication and an awareness issue, rather than a process, policy or culture systems issue can be problematic. She offers some ideas to promote inclusivity and best practices. In my article, I give an overview of the diversity of Contra Costa County and discuss pragmatic approaches to implementing diversity. The work that is done by Center for Youth Development as described by Nancy Schiff in her article gives us a sense of the future in developing a path to higher education for minority youth. You’ll read about the efforts made by this organization among many others in Contra Costa County to increase the pipeline. Delphina Yuen writes about Lyft’s hiring practices and finally, although not a diversity topic but a timely topic nonetheless, Mary Grace Guzman writes about the new IOLTA rules.

Thank you to all our authors for sharing your insight, Carole Lucido and Marcus Brown for your incredible work in putting this all together, and all our diversity advocates who understand that true diversity is never fully realized because the community in which we live is in a constant state of flux, and therefore, we must remain invested and vigilant about implementing best practices