Fried Frank proudly hosted its annual Michael R. Diehl Civil Rights Forum on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City. The event, titled “The Battle for Equality for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People,” featured guest speakers Kristen Prata Browde, president of LeGal, the LGBT Bar of New York; Carl Charles, a staff attorney at Lambda Legal; AC Dumlao, program manager at the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; and moderator Bobby Hodgson, an attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union.
“The Michael R. Diehl Forum is a unique opportunity to discuss new ways to support the civil rights of all Americans by taking a closer look at the challenges facing a particular marginalized group of people in our society," said real estate partner Michael J. Barker, chair of Fried Frank's Diversity Committee. "Our panelists this year are leaders in the civil rights movement for transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people and we are proud to spotlight their work, highlight recent progress, and discuss next steps in the fight for equality."
The panelists discussed the experience of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the US today, the legal obstacles to full equality for TGNC people, and what we can do to support the TGNC members of our community and help secure equality for all.
The Firm established the annual Michael R. Diehl Civil Rights Forum in 2000 to honor the legacy of Michael R. Diehl, a Fried Frank corporate associate, known for his dedication to the cause of civil rights for the LGBTQ community, who died in a tragic swimming accident in 1999. Presented by the Firm's Pride Alliance, the forum has featured prominent civic leaders to engage the Fried Frank community in a discussion of current civil rights and social justice issues and concerns.
Fried Frank's Pride Alliance seeks to build upon the Firm's longstanding commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse community and to increasing understanding of and involvement in the unique issues facing the LGBTQ community. The group participates in several pro bono representation efforts, from groundbreaking family law litigation involving same-sex couples to name-change petitions for transgender clients. It maintains strong relationships with important organizations like the National LGBT Bar Association, Lambda Legal, and Immigration Equality. Click here to learn more about the Firm's Diversity & Inclusion program.