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2020 Diversity & Inclusion Awards

“As each of us came into consciousness, we learned, based on the random outward manifestation of the combinations of genes that collided at the precise moment of our conception, that because of what we look like, the world has already assigned a place for us,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson in her new book, Caste.

Click on the cover to view full magazine

Click on the cover to view the full magazine

It is up to each of us to either accept or challenge the role that we were cast into and make the world see what is inside us, Wilkerson writes, including our dreams and beliefs, and how we express love. “That we are not what we look like but what we do with what we have, what we make of what we are given, how we treat others and our planet.”

In this issue you will read stories about how Minnesota attorneys and judges are working to create a more equitable world, bringing equity into the workplace and improve hiring processes, fighting for racial justice, and creating work cultures that reward excellence, accomplishment and diversity.

In this issue’s cover story, Standing in Solidarity, you will also read about how affinity bar associations and their leaders, who are also among this year’s honorees, are uniting against prejudice and the dehumanizing of victims of violence, exemplified in the recent killing of George Floyd.

Minnesota Lawyer is honored to recognize our honorees for the example they set for each of us in diversity and inclusion.

“We had nothing to do with having been born into privilege or under stigma,” writes Wilkerson. “We have everything to do with what we do with our God-given talents and how we treat others in our species from this day forward.”

— Joel Schettler, editor


Note: Honoree photos were taken at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis



A seat at the table: Bar Association president focuses on diversity, inclusion

Standing in Solidarity



Greene Espel



Collaborative Legal Community Coalition

Office of the Minnesota Attorney General



Uzodima Franklin Aba-Onu

Prime Therapeutics

Catherine Ahlin-Halverson


Holly Dolejsi

Robins Kaplan

Attorney General Keith Ellison

Office of the Minnesota Attorney General

Athena Hollins


Tisidra Jones

Strong & Starlike Consulting Inc.

Alexander Kim

Greenberg Traurig

Adine Momoh


Sarah Oquist

Oquist McFadden Consulting

Marcos Ramirez

Nexum Legal

Lica Tomizuka

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Judge Richelle Wahi

Minnesota’s First Judicial District



MABL – Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers

Minnesota Women Lawyers

The Minnesota Vikings Law Department



Jerry Blackwell and Corey L. Gordon

Blackwell Burke

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