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Scottie Carter
In his newly created role, Scottie Carter’s responsibilities include working to make Greater Twin Cities United Way more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization and to address systemic racism regionally. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: ‘DEI Batman’ brings legal skills to United Way

Name: Scottie Carter

Title: Vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, Greater Twin Cities United Way

Education: B.A., political science, Hampton University; J.D., Howard University School of Law

Attorney Scottie Carter dubbed himself “DEI Batman” for his volunteer efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusivity.

He’s now pursuing his passion full time as vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

“I wanted to put my full passions and time into actually being ‘DEI Batman,’” said Carter, who has a law degree from Howard University School of Law.

In his newly created role, Carter’s responsibilities include working to make Greater Twin Cities United Way more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization and to address systemic racism regionally, John Wilgers, the organization’s president and CEO, said in a release.

Also influencing his decision to join the nonprofit to expand his pursuit of equity and social justice, Carter said, was George Floyd’s murder. “We have an appetite for it now that we didn’t have five years ago,” Carter said.

Carter said his legal training helps him objectively approach emotionally charged DEI issues to focus on positive changes.

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: I’m very much an extrovert, so I love a good, “Hi, how are you doing?”

Q: Why did you go to law school?

A: I was a huge fan of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice. I had read about him and then he died in 1993 when I was, like, 6. He influenced me going to Howard law because that’s where he went. The caveat to that, too, is I realized that the way to make changes is in the law.

Q: What books are you reading?

A: “Black Fatigue” by Mary-Francis Winters. It’s giving more credence to the idea about Black and brown people who are in this space, having to find ways to reinvigorate themselves, because oftentimes, you’re it. You can be pegged as the spokesperson or you can be pegged as the token in that space, and how do you make that work? How do you replenish yourself?

Q: What’s your pet peeve?

A: Wasting time. Wasting my time.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: This work at United Way, it’s the people. There are some amazing people that I’ve worked with, interacted with.

Q: Least favorite?

A: There’s a lot of meetings.

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: I love to listen to music, watch a great documentary or play video games. One day I can listen to bluegrass and country. The next it could be classical and the next it could be Afrobeats.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: I’m from Chicago. A place I would take them to Millennial Park, downtown. That’s one of the most beautiful parts of the city where you see all the skyscrapers but also like the park element of it.

Q: Legal figure you most admire?

A: My mom used to give me these little books about black figures in our culture. The one I read the most of was Thurgood Marshall. I learned about Brown v. Board of Education and was enamored by that space. I am very thankful that he existed and showed up in the way he did.

Q: Misconception that others have about your work?

A: That you have to be an attorney. If you go to law school, you have to go and practice law. Law school the training you get, it encompasses far more than that. It’s a wide variety of careers you can have.

Q: Favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers?

A: There was a show called “The Practice” that used to be on ABC that I used to love. It gave me the misconception that attorneys are always in the courtroom fighting and they actually. It was the biggest bummer when I went to law school was like, “Wait, you don’t go to court that often, you don’t argue in front of the judges often, you just do more writing.” I thought it was going to be like “The Practice.” That’s the show.

 

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