AILA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion National Committee (DEI Committee) has been hard at work and we are thrilled to share our progress with you! Compassion, recognition, and respect are values that have guided the work of the DEI Committee this year, and we want all of you to join us.
First, An Invitation:
First and foremost, AILA members and staff are invited to join the DEI Committee in our inaugural 21 Day Racial Equity Invitation starting this June 1st in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month and QTLGB+ Pride Month. This is an invitation for the AILA community to learn about, reflect on, and discuss topics centered on the role of race in immigration law. Together we will complete a 21-day syllabus with short, daily assignments that include reading, videos, and podcasts on the topic of race and immigration law. Information about how to participate is available on the DEI committee webpage and you can sign up directly with this link.
Making DEI Local:
The DEI Committee has focused the year on building a better and more inclusive bar association for the AILA community. In our 6th year as a national committee, we celebrate the growth, training, and support of DEI Liaisons in AILA chapters worldwide. Throughout the year, the DEI Committee has offered training, support, and resources to AILA Chapters who are developing meaningful DEI-focused programming, which highlight diverse perspectives and interests within each chapter. You can find local DEI liaisons via this link.
Learn, Learn, Learn:
We have expanded opportunities to learn, listen and understand one another through our monthly education series. This year, the DEI Committee hosted a series of monthly recorded presentations highlighting important subjects including Black Women’s Maternal Health, the CROWN Act, Violence Against Women, the Perpetual Foreigner, and Why Centering Racial Equity Matters. Each month, recordings of the series and materials are shared with Chapter DEI Liaisons.
Increasing Diversity in Leadership:
We have focused efforts on the expansion of leadership opportunities within AILA in promoting greater access and lifting up diverse voices within the AILA community. This year, the Annual Conference will feature three separate panels on DEI topics with dynamic speakers representing diverse perspectives and experiences from a variety of communities. Stories and perspectives from DEI Committee members and from recipients of AILA DEI scholarships were featured throughout the year in the AILA Think Immigration DEI Blog Series. Our increased collaboration between AILA member-engagement-focused committees, interest groups, AILA’s Board of Governors, and chapter leadership has opened more doors for diverse AILA members to inform policies on a national level.
Numbers Count! AILA Demographics Survey:
We continue to seek AILA member input in an ongoing campaign to collect, study, and analyze AILA member demographics. AILA demographics continue to be an important marker in determining the allocation of resources for future AILA programming and we encourage you to complete the voluntary demographics questions in your MY AILA member profile.
We appreciate, recognize, and celebrate AILA’s 75-year-long journey of learning, improving, and welcoming the voices of ALL AILA members in our community. Our learning is ongoing and ever growing and we are encouraged with the promise of AILA and its members.
Respect, understanding, listening and learning make us better lawyers and a better bar organization. These values are more important now than ever.
Our doors (and Zoom rooms!) are always open, please reach out and join us!