A Statement From Sheppard Mullin Chair Denouncing Violence against Asian, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders
As a nation and as a firm we are saddened by the eight murders last week in Atlanta. While we may never know the gunman’s motives, the killings are again focusing us on the increased incidents of violence and xenophobia in our country against Asian, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
Almost a year ago, Sheppard Mullin signed on to the Stand Against Hate Statement issued by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in response to an increase in incidents of bias and violence against AAPI communities in the United States. In fact, this was one of the catalysts for the establishment of our Inclusive Engagement Task Force (IETF). Tragically, since the statement was issued last May, reported incidents have continued to rise at an alarming rate.
Discrimination against AAPI communities is not new. They have suffered targeting on the basis of their heritage and race dating back to the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, and running through the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and discrimination against Asian and Muslim communities following 9/11 to the present.
Against this backdrop, our IETF continues its work to promote racial justice in America. Pro bono hours, many contributed to the IETF’s work, are at an all-time high. Our internal speaker series continues to draw broad participation across the firm. We have made meaningful contributions to deserving and effective organizations. There is much to be done but together we are making a difference.
Sheppard Mullin stands in solidarity with all AAPI members of our community and condemns such discrimination, prejudice and acts of violence. We are absolutely committed to inclusivity in all aspects of our firm, and will continue to promote our core values of diversity and inclusion, which require us to acknowledge the continuing impact of both historical and ongoing discrimination, let down our defenses, take action and persevere.