Everyone irrespective of their background has a narrative. By providing a forum for our guests to tell their personal stories, we aim to foster connection and build community through shared experience. Please join us as we use the art of storytelling to drive progress through inclusion and break down barriers in the workplace.
TEDx Insights: The art of crafting evocative talks with Pariti Sutaria
Pariti Sutaria, organizer of TEDxCamden and graduate student at Rutgers School of Business, joins Iveliz Crespo and Bareeq Barqawi to discuss the fascinating world of TEDx speaking and event organization. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of preparing for and securing a coveted spot on the TEDx stage. Discover behind-the-scenes insights into curating powerful, thought-provoking talks that resonate with a global audience. Whether you're an aspiring speaker or simply curious about the magic that makes TEDx events unforgettable, this episode is your backstage pass to the TEDx experience. Stay tuned to gain valuable insights from Pariti that will inspire and inform, exclusively for our dedicated community of Reed Smith attorneys and staff.
LEADRS and PRISM are Business Inclusion Groups (BIGs) at Reed Smith that represent individuals with disabilities and persons in the LGBTQ+ community, respectively, whose members face a common challenge: the issue of disclosure. Persons in the LGBTQ+ community and those with disabilities – particularly of the non-visible type such as mental illness or neurodiversity – may struggle with publicly disclosing the very aspects that underlie their diversity. That is, people with disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQ+ may struggle with the decision to reveal such information in their workplace for fear of stigma, hostility, judgment, and/or retaliation. According to various studies of persons with disabilities and LGBTQ+ individuals in the legal profession, the concerns they face are similar. The struggle with self-disclosure is one of the reasons that support from management and peers in the workplace – whether through community events, available resources, affinity, or BIGs – is so crucial. Further, this places particular importance on allyship – where people who do not necessarily have a disability or identify as LGBTQ+ become part of the support network. We are delighted to have a number of individuals from PRISM and LEADRS discuss the considerations they have addressed in relation to their journeys regarding self-disclosure, how the landscape in the legal profession has changed, what needs to improve in the future, and how we get there.
Our host Iveliz Crespo is joined by guests Jonathan Andrews, Jessica Parry and Erin Guna.
Emily Roxworthy: Trailblazing in DEI through performing arts
Emily Roxworthy, the dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, joins John Iino in an informative discussion focused on driving progress in DEI through storytelling, empathy and interactive theater. Dean Roxworthy shares her personal story of growing up in racially charged Detroit, Michigan, which in part informed her passion for advancing DEI as the associate vice chancellor of Faculty Diversity & Equity at UC San Diego. She also shares the impact of the recent SCOTUS affirmative action cases on the USC School of Dramatic Arts, and how organizations will press forward with their DEI goals.
LGBTQ+ communities: A global and intersectional perspective
Omar J. Alaniz, Reed Smith’s Dallas office managing partner and the U.S. deputy for PRISM, joins senior global DEI advisor, Iveliz Crespo (Philadelphia) and associate and PRISM EME co-chair, Tom Gates (London), to discuss LGBTQ+ History Month, the needs of LGBTQ+ communities globally, and how his lived experience as a Latinx gay man shapes his intersectional approach to his career and his advocacy work.
Fostering inclusion for persons with invisible disabilities
Invisible disabilities can affect a person’s efforts to work, go to school, socialize, and more. Although invisible disabilities create challenges for those who have them, it can be difficult for organizations and others to recognize or acknowledge the reality of the disability.
In this episode, Reed Smith partner Luke Debevec, who practices law with epilepsy, joins John Iino as co-host. Their special guest is Catherine Ames, a student at USC living with chronic illness and disability. Catherine has made it her mission to help other students and young people similar to her to feel less alone. She does this through “Chronically Catherine,” her column in the USC newspaper, the Daily Trojan, and as a USC Fellow conducting original research on the history of disability discrimination.
Luke and Catherine share their personal stories and the challenges they face with their disabilities and provide advice on how organizations and others can better support persons with invisible disabilities.
Louise Worrall: Resilience, discipline, and adaptability
Louise Worrall, financial advisor and former lieutenant in the British Royal Navy, joins Reed Smith’s senior global DEI advisor, Iveliz Crespo and trainee solicitor Voirrey Blount to discuss how her military experience and diagnosis of a rare connective tissue disorder helped shape her outlook and approach to her life and career in finance.