Message from the Chair: Dan Acosta
Hola from sunny New Mexico!
Thanks to all of you who were able to tear yourselves away from your desks to join us in Boca Raton at the Spring meeting in May. Hard to believe we were greeted with rain! Despite the drizzle, what we accomplished was well worth the trek. We were fortunate enough to partner with Staff Counsel and the Law in Public Service Committee to do an education awareness project with William Dandy Middle School. We volunteers were greeted with a cafeteria-full of students in the pre-law program. (Yes, you read correctly – pre-law!) After a brief PowerPoint presentation we broke out into groups and got to interact with students who eagerly asked us the tough questions like “what is negligence?” and other questions I haven’t pondered since law school! It was great to interact with such eager and energetic kids and I am sure they will be great additions to the profession.
Another highlight was our View From the Trenches speaker series – this time we were fortunate enough to hear from Ervin Gonzales of Colson Hicks Eidson, Rand Hoch of the Beach County Human Rights Council, the Honorable Marcia Cook from the US District Court Southern District of Florida, James Kracht from the American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys. The panel was moderated by TIPS Diversity Officer Darcee Siegel. Each of these sessions is unique and we have been fortunate to have engaging guests sharing their story about diversity struggles and successes they have experienced. If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend one of these events, please be on the lookout for our next program.
Finally, I have only a few more months before I pass along my role as chair to the next incoming Chair, Deborah Yue. It has been a pleasure to serve as Chair of this amazing and hard working committee. We have accomplished so much over the last two years and I want to thank each and every member of our committee who put aside their busy lives to help us achieve diversity and inclusion in our profession. I would like to give special recognition to our incoming Chair Deborah Yue and Chair- Elect Akira Heshiki for their tireless work on our newsletter and web page and wish them continued success as they move this committee to greater heights.
Finally, I would be remiss in not recognizing the outstanding work of our ABA Staff Liaison, Jennifer LaChance, who goes out of her way to make us look good and has been instrumental in making our Middle School Outreach Program the talk of the Section and a huge success. Thank you Jennifer! We couldn't have done it without you.
I hope to see you all at the annual meeting in August in Boston! It will be wicked fun!
All the Best,
Chair, 2012-2014 Diversity in the Profession Committee
Dan Acosta is a Division Attorney in charge of legal education and training for the Claims Litigation Department of Farmers Insurance Company. Farmers employs over 500 attorneys in 60 locations nationwide. He is a former Chair of the Staff Counsel Committee and resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico.