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Statement by Judge Charles E. Williams


 For Sarasota to live up to its reputation as a world class destination for all those who come here, it must reflect the world’s diversity and be inclusive.  The local legal community is no exception to this.  Although there are those who feel that diversity and inclusion is not important, those with a diverse background who seek legal services in this community are going to be receptive to those firms and lawyers who are accepting and inclusive of people like themselves.  Lawyers and law firms cannot ignore this fact and need to catch up both in a business sense and a moral sense in accepting and understanding why diversity and inclusion is good for their business and for the legal profession.  


Experience has taught us that this cannot be accomplished in a vacuum.  Someone or some group has to take a lead and explain to the legal community why diversity is important. We have to educate the public, at all levels, on the benefits of diversity and inclusion and also make the legal profession a reflection of the diversity in our community.


The SCBA Council for Diversity and Inclusion is tasked with that goal and gladly accepts the challenge of making the legal community and Sarasota a more diverse, inclusive and tolerant place for all those who call this community home.


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