The 2009 Recession:
The Economic Recession’s Effect on Minority and Women Lawyers

Arin N. Reeves
April 2009

In a recent conversation with the chair of a firm’s diversity committee, I listened patiently as the partner bemoaned his firm’s inability to work on diversity issues because of budgetary cutbacks.  I responded by telling him that budgets did not create diversity, people did.  After he got over his initial surprise and anger at my response, he got around to asking me what I meant.  When I told him that diversity and inclusion were, at their core, about human interactions and the relationships that were forged across differences, we were able to generate several ideas of what his firm could do to raise awareness on diversity, build relationships across differences and create a more inclusive culture that did not strain his budget at all.

Think Smarter. Lead Better.

  • Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.

    Malcolm Forbes
  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.

    Charles Evan Hughes
  • Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.

    James Surowiecki
  • Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.

    Walter Lippmann
  • Controversial' as we all know, is often a euphemism for 'interesting and intelligent.

    Kevin Smith
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity. They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover
  • Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.

    Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.

    Isaac Asimov
  • Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

    Audre Lorde
  • The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.

    Albert Einstein
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity.They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover
  • It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.

    Albert Einstein
  • Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.

    Madame De Stael
  • America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.

    Louis D. Brandeis
  • Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.

    Mahatma Gandhi
  • I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.

    Woodrow Wilson
  • There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

    Michel de Montaigne
  • Differences challenge assumptions.

    Anne Wilson Schaef
  • To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

    Tony Robbins
  • Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.

    Thomas Jefferson
  • Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.

    Theodore Roosevelt
  • One must even beware of too much certainty that the answer to life's problems can only be found in one way and that all must agree to search for light in the same way and cannot find it in any other way.

    Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • Diversity creates dimension in the world.

    Elizabeth Ann Lawless
  • Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.

    Leo Tolstoy
  • The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation -- or a relationship.

    Deborah Tannen