June 11, 2020

Dear HIPLA Members,

As I reflect on the recent events, I’ve reviewed my own experience in HIPLA and the IP community.  I’m proud that diversity and inclusion has long-been a part of HIPLA’s culture.  It is ingrained in our bylaws and actions.  We pride ourselves on the promotion and empowerment of all members, and celebrate an engaged-talented-diverse-and-committed group of officers, directors, committee heads, and past presidents.  Yet, the events that led to this moment in time give us pause.  George Floyd’s life was unjustly taken.  His death sparked an international conversation around race, equality, and power.  As President of HIPLA, I speak for the organization in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement.  More broadly, I reiterate that HIPLA stands in solidarity with all of our members in the ongoing battles for equality, freedom and justice.  As Texas Lawyers we remember our creed, under which we “owe each other respect, diligence, candor, punctuality, and protection against unjust and improper criticism and attack.”  And we rededicate ourselves to the commitment that our membership is inclusive and empowering to all.

Although HIPLA has done so much and come so far: it must do more.  To this end, I will be appointing a special committee to review HIPLA’s commitment to the empowerment of minority members.  Please email me by Monday, June 22, 2020 if you would like to be included on the special committee.

In the meantime, HIPLA will take the following actions:

  1. Implement a HIPLA diversity award program that highlights the importance of diversity in our profession;
  2. Host a fundraiser with 100% of the proceeds going toward diversity and inclusion initiatives, likely during the Fall Institute diversity breakfast; and
  3. Create a diversity, inclusion and empowerment page on our website.

Thank you all for your support as we seek continuous improvement and positive change in our community and in our profession.

Respectfully,

Jason Sander

HIPLA President


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