Shearman And Sterling

News June 02, 2020

Senior Partner David J. Beveridge’s Message to Our Global Community

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The killing of George Floyd was horrifying to us all and a graphic reminder of the persistent racial injustice that exists not only in the United States, but across the world. We abhor violence and discrimination, and we will not be silent. Instead, we reassert our commitment to action in support of all of our colleagues, clients and communities that have been affected by the recent events. We know this is a painful and disheartening time for so many in our community, particularly for our Black colleagues and their families. We recognize the pain and struggles people of color face as they confront these injustices, systemic racism, implicit bias, and social and economic inequality. We are also keenly aware that the pandemic continues to take a disproportionate toll on minority communities.  

We are part of a profession that is, and must always be, about fighting for and upholding the rule of law and equal justice under the law. As a firm, we can all take action by talking about racism, bias and inclusion with the goal of learning how to interrupt bias and take steps to ensure a more inclusive and equitable workplace and society. Our Global Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is hosting platforms for discussion and organizing programming led by external educators. We must continue advocating for social justice, working with organizations including NAACPLDEF, AALDEF, Latino Justice, the Innocence Project and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

As the Senior Partner, and a member of the New York business community, I have co-signed the Partnership for New York City’s open letter with 190 other CEOs in support of programs to address racial injustice and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the city’s Black and minority communities.

No amount of pro bono work or philanthropy alone can make up for or address the systemic racism that requires systemic solutions. Yet we all must remain steadfastly committed to fostering an inclusive, equitable and safe environment for our people, our clients, and our local and global communities.