Woods Oviatt Gilman's Statement on Racial Injustice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In the last several months, we have faced unprecedented challenges. While in the midst of a global pandemic, we have been isolated from our families, our friends and our co-workers, while worrying about our health and the health and safety of our loved ones. At the same time, our nation has struggled to recognize and address issues of racism and injustice inherent in our communities, large and small. Rochester and Buffalo are not exceptions, and it is incumbent on all of us to meet these challenges with the vigor and respect our communities deserve.

As a leader in law for nearly 170 years, we believe it is our duty and obligation to take action to combat issues of racism and injustice, while embracing diversity, equity and inclusion, in the law and beyond. Woods Oviatt Gilman unequivocally supports a fair and impartial system of justice and the rule of law, as well as accountability and transparency for all members of our community, and every individual's right to protest injustice in all forms.

As a firm, we are committed to fostering an open dialogue about these complex topics, and challenging injustice in not only the greater legal community, but more particularly, in the communities we serve each and every day. We are working to create a firm culture in which every member of our organization feels equally valued and has the ability to achieve their personal and professional goals, as well as one which is reflective of the culture and history of our global society.

We know that diverse backgrounds, characteristics and talents enhance the services we provide to our clients. It is that simple. We are dedicated to maintaining and cultivating a firm culture that supports and advances diversity, equity, and inclusiveness at every level of our organization. We have empowered our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to actively confront issues of diversity, inequality and access to justice through education, activism and pro-bono support of causes and organizations that directly address racism, inequity, poverty, and other areas of injustice. We recognize that there is much work to be done, and we will continue to strive to be a leader in efforts to effect change and progress in our communities.

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."