The Diversity Steering Committee hosted its second annual Dinner with the League event on Thursday, May 19th. Held at Café Iberico in River North, over 25 members and guests attended. JLC Diversification Director, Timnetra Burruss, welcomed guests and discussed the purpose of the evening. The goals of the dinner were to connect members across placements, provide potential members with an opportunity to get to know the League, and foster conversations around diversity.
Those in attendance included incoming associates, friends of members, as well as members with varying tenures in the League. The night featured a delicious ten course tapas meal with options such as patatas bravas, paella, octopus, shrimp, croquetas de pollo, and strawberry tiramisu. Over the course of the evening, attendees had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the group as well as discuss what diversity means to them.
Many attendees defined diversity as transcending conventional attributes such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion. Similarly, many emphasized the importance of listening, kindness, having an open mind, and treating others of all backgrounds with respect. While everyone offered a personal definition of the term, it was clear that those in attendance sought to be informed and inclusive in their interactions with others. Some referenced personal experiences interacting with friends or family while others expressed a desire to make an effort to connect with others who are not like them.
Overall, the evening was very thought-provoking and engaging. In addition to the group discussion about diversity, attendees conversed with one another throughout the night on a variety of other topics.
Dinner with the League is one of many successful programs organized by the Diversity Steering Committee this League year. Another program, the Diversity Film Series, provided a forum for members to examine aspects of diversity through film. In February, the committee hosted a viewing of “Arranged”:
This comedy “centers on the friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman who meet as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common – not least of which is that they are both going through the process of arranged marriages.”
In May it hosted a viewing of “Advanced Style”:
Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging.
The committee also leads diversity training for new associates as well as members of the Community Council. Keep your eye on Connections to learn about future events hosted by this group.
By Kamaria Campbell, 2015-16 Topics & Trends staff member