June 5, 2019 – A government attorney is the first recipient of an award that recognizes efforts to support and encourage diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Miriam Horwitz, Milwaukee deputy city attorney, is the first recipient of the new Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin Diversity & Inclusion Oversight Committee, which serves as the State Bar’s diversity “think tank” to carry out its diversity and inclusion commitment and goals. She will receive the award at the State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting & Conference on Thursday, June 13, in Green Bay.
“She shows a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Judge Carl Ashley, committee chair.
Horwitz is honored for her initiative to go to the City of Milwaukee Administration and Common Council to secure funding to allow the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office to participate as an employer in the State Bar Diversity Clerkship Program.
“Miriam is a wonderful example for how to advocate for opportunities that expand diversity and inclusion,” Judge Ashley said.
“She embodies the spirit of intentional and deliberate efforts to bring about a more diverse and inclusive profession,” said committee member Andrew Chevrez.
A Natural Fit
“I cannot think of any other honor I would rather have,” Horwitz said.
Shannon Green is communications writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. She can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6135.
Horwitz gained a deeper understanding of the Diversity Clerkship program while recently serving on the State Bar’s Board of Governors and the Government Lawyers Division board. With its own programs for diversity and inclusion, “it is a natural fit for the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office to participate in the program,” she said.
“In order to plan this out, we included a ‘graduate intern’ position in our 2017 budget request,” which was eventually included in the final budget approved by the Milwaukee Common Council, she said. “As a result, we were able to hire our first clerk for the summer of 2017, and we have continued to participate as an employer each year since.”
They will soon participate in their third year. “We have a better understanding of how to provide the clerk with a meaningful experience and how to give more assistant city attorneys opportunities to mentor and work with the clerk,” Horwitz said.
“The clerks also help our ability to understand and serve the many stakeholders in Milwaukee,” she said.
The Trailblazer Award
The new award from the Diversity & Inclusion Oversight Committee enhances efforts to inspire greater diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
“We want the award to inspire others to become champions of diversity and inclusion,” Chevrez said.
The Trailblazer Award:
recognizes recipients who are deliberate and intentional in their efforts to promote diversity & inclusion in the profession;
increases awareness for greater diversity and inclusion; and
demonstrates the State Bar’s strategic principle of encouraging diversity and inclusion in the profession.
A Necessary Effort
Increasing diversity and inclusion in workplaces and in communities is necessary, said Horwitz, “for our country to fulfill its promise of freedom and equality before the law.”
“In spite of the 13th and 14th Amendments, and multiple state and federal anti-discrimination laws, racism and prejudice based on religion, national origin, and sexual identification continues to impact those opportunities,” Horwitz said. “It takes ongoing, conscious effort to promote diversity and inclusion in the private workplace, the government and the legal profession.”
The benefit is to the integrity of our country’s shared values of justice, security and peace, Horwitz noted. “Diversity and inclusion are especially important in the legal profession, because our profession is fundamentally tied to the administration of justice,” Horwitz said.
Join in the Celebration at the Annual Meeting & Conference in June in Green Bay
Miriam Hortwitz receives her award at the Member Recognition Celebration at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center in downtown Green Bay.
Join the celebration at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2019. The celebration takes place at the State Bar Annual Meeting & Conference. Conference registration is not required to attend.
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