The Misguided Use of the Harvard/UNC Ruling to Thwart Law Firm and Other Private Employer DEI Efforts


On Friday, February 23, Lewis Rice Member and Firm DEI Chair Ronald A. Norwood will present a CLE discussing the Harvard/UNC Supreme Court Ruling and how opponents of DEI efforts are seeking to use that ruling as a justification for dismantling DEI programs adopted by private employers and law firms. Ron will explain why the rationale in the Harvard/UNC Supreme Court ruling should not be applied to law firms and private employers because it was limited to college admissions, predicated on the Equal Protection Clause, governing governmental actors, and ignores the fact that almost all private employer DEI efforts are designed to level the playing field consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and EEOC guidelines mandating equal employment opportunity regardless of race, sex, religion or disability. In his view, vigorous push back is essential to avoid turning back a clock that returns people of color, women and others protected by Title VII to second class citizenship.

To read Ron's full article about the Harvard/UNC Supreme Court Ruling, click under "Resources" below.

Ron has served as Chair of the Lewis Rice’s DEI Committee for nearly a decade. Throughout his 35-year legal career, Ron has acted as a trial attorney and appellate attorney in state and federal litigation matters throughout the United States, with primary concentrations in Missouri and Illinois, defending class action litigation, and representing manufacturers in product liability litigation, health insurers and health care providers in health care litigation disputes, and governmental and quasi-governmental entities.

Ron has served as an adjunct professor at Washington University and served as Chairman of the Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents, Board Vice-President of the Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce, Board Vice-President of the College Bound program, and currently serves on the Sherwood Forest Board, chairing its DEI Committee.