Whitfield & Eddy Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee 2023 Year in Review
The attorneys and staff at Whitfield & Eddy Law formed its first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in 2021. The committee serves as a guide and foster a welcoming and safe work environment for all. and achieved many of the original goals established in their charter.
The committee’s 2023 accomplishments include:
- The firm was a sponsor of the Breaking The Cycle / Hope for Justice dinner to raise funds and awareness to stop human trafficking.
- The firm committed to the 2023 – 2024 Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Diversity Pledge, where we worked towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment through steps outlined by the ISBA YLD. The pledge outlined more than two dozen items listed in internal and external categories for law firms of all sizes to review and complete between April 1, 2023 and April 1, 2024.
- The firm was a sponsor of the third annual West Des Moines Chamber Black and Brown Summit. The summit will bring entrepreneurs and seasoned companies together to elevate ethnic minorities and BIPOC businesses to build connections, training, and resources to grow and prosper.
- The firm placed an advertisement in the Pride Fest Pride Guide supporting the LGBTQ community in the metro’s signature Capital City Pride Week events.
- The firm recognized Juneteenth as a holiday with time off and provided educational materials about this history of Juneteenth and related community events.
- The firm recognized the CROWN Act to ensure protection against hair-based discrimination.
- The firm supported the National Asian Pacific Bar Association to create a chapter in the state of Iowa.
- The firm was a sponsor of the annual Iowa National Bar Association Meeting at the Monument event.
- Attorneys and staff participated in the fourth annual Drake Law School Cady Day of Service by participating in a clean-up of the Neal Smith Trail and Birdland Marina area in Des Moines and volunteering at the power of attorney clinic at Drake Law School.
- The Whitfield Women, a mentorship group for women in the law profession, continues to be an active part of the firm leading charitable endeavors in the community including Give Grace, Give Hope, the Young Women’s Resource Center, Single Parent Provision, and other charitable and networking endeavors supportive programming for members.
- For over fifty years, the firm has provided legal services to Oakridge Neighborhood Services. These services include the initial development, procurement of land, and construction of buildings including their resource center. A vital community resource, Oakridge is the most culturally diverse neighborhood in Des Moines and houses over 1,100 residents in 339 housing units.
- We hosted members of the Drake Law School Black Law Student Association return to school dinner at a private residence with faculty and firm guests.
- The firm supported the Drake Law School Black Law Student Association Black History Month fundraiser.
- The firm received the 2023 Drake Law School Black Law Student Association “Above & Beyond” Award for support of the association and members.
- We hosted a viewing of the ALFA International Video Conference “Holiday Cheers: Tips on Intentional Celebration of Diversity Holidays in Your Organization.” The live webinar qualified for Iowa Ethics and Diversity CLE.
- Tom Henderson serves as co-chair of Iowans Supporting Israel, a non-profit bi-partisan organization encouraging Iowans to support Israel.
- The firm also recognized important dates including:
- International Women's Day
- Celebrate Diversity Month
- Disability Pride Month
- Women's Equality Day
- World Mental Health Day
- Native American Heritage Month
- Veterans Day
- The firm supported community events and fundraisers including:
- Dress for Success, an organization to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and development opportunity.
- The Drake Law School Suit Yourself clothing closet.
- The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Excellence Awards
- The Greater Des Moines Inclusion Summit
- The West Des Moines Historical Society Jordan House, which was one of the five stations on the Underground Railroad in Iowa that still exists today.
The attorneys and staff at Whitfield & Eddy Law are committed to maintaining a successful workplace and community. We encourage the recruitment, hiring and advancement of talented, engaged and diverse attorneys and staff to meet the complex needs of our clients and community. The committee continues to evolve and grow with an emphasis on activities within the firm and community to build on the goal to define the firm as a diverse, equitable, and inclusive employer of choice in the Des Moines metro.
for more information
Contact Whitfield & Eddy Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee co-chairs Jaki Samuelson or Tom Henderson.