What happens to a dream deferred?
We are hurting. The scenes are sickeningly familiar. The killings of Breonna Taylor,
Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and so many others. The routine harassment and indignities. The failures to live up to human principles of justice and democracy.
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.
Change starts at home, and we have work to do. As lawyers and legal professionals, we have a heightened duty. We took an oath – and with it comes professional responsibility
to stand up and fight for racial and social justice. Orrick will be devoting greater resources to pro bono civil rights and social justice matters, including opportunities for our staff
to participate through Orrick Cares. To start, we launched the Orrick Racial Justice
Fellowship Program to enable at least five Orrick lawyers to devote a year each to working on civil rights and social justice issues.
This is only the beginning. We will continue to work collectively to come up with new and better ways to accelerate change. We must take a stand now and act together as a profession, to ensure that we come out of this difficult period as true allies for the kind of justice system – and society – of which we want to be a part. That is the kind of difference we want to, and will, make.
Or does it explode?
Photography: Orrick Senior Associate Kelly Newsome, Harlem, NY, May 30, 2020
Poetry: Langston Hughes, Harlem, 1951