Monday, June 8, 2009

“A More Perfect Union” Emceed by Soledad O’Brien

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to call for a renewed commitment to diversity in today’s challenging economic climate.

Ballmer’s remarks were in conjunction with the 10th Annual A. Leon Higginbotham Award Dinner in New York, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. Microsoft was recognized for excellence in diversity and pro bono efforts during the June 3rd gala, “A More Perfect Union”, emceed by Soledad O’Brien, anchor and special correspondent, CNN Worldwide.

“Diversity is critical to the success of our economy and to the advancement of our society. Workplaces that welcome different experiences, perspectives and capabilities and foster talent and creativity can be great engines of innovation – which is needed now, more than ever,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.

The prestigious Higginbotham award is named in memory of Chief Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a civil rights advocate, author and federal appeals court judge. Mr. Higginbotham was the first African American judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Pennsylvania. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. His countless achievements include appointment by President Kennedy as the first African American to serve on the Federal Trade Commission and authoring the acclaimed, “In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process, A Study of the Treatment of Race in the Colonial American Legal System.”

The award is being presented at a time when the economic climate is having an impact on diversity initiatives in many areas, including the legal profession. Recently, the National Law Journal reported that a survey of 94 leading law firms, conducted by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), revealed that 25% of the firms polled expected to cut diversity initiative funding in 2009.

Source: prdomain.com
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