Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resources & Support
Thanks for visiting our DEI Resource Center. Here you'll find links to DEI resources for organizations and companies, details on Mountaintop's suggested framework to achieve systemic change and our approach, and information on our digital learning Law School Program, aimed at supporting diverse students as they embark on their legal careers. We'll add new resources and information regularly; come back and visit often! Have a great resource you recommend? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACHIEVING SYSTEMIC CHANGE
Mountaintop's DEI approach is built with the knowledge that systemic problems require systemic change. Find our framework as published on Forbes.com here and more information below.
RECOMMENDED READING & RESOURCES
Not sure where to start with your company's DEI efforts? Or what DEI even means? Find practical, actionable DEI resources and guidance, with more added regularly, below.
OUR DEI APPROACH
In this virtual discussion, Mountaintop's Precious Williams Owodunni and Rosa Maria Villagomez recommend practical approaches for organizations to drive meaningful, lasting change in the fight against systemic racism. Guests Erin Hess and Nichole Velasquez of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity share insights.
Mountaintop President Precious W. Owodunni's discusses allyship with Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) President Nancy Yao Maasbach, including what it means to be an ally, with small and big steps individuals can take to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workplaces and communities.
- To Retain Employees, Focus on Inclusion - Not Just Diversity, HBR
- Update Your DEI Playbook, HBR
- 3 Requirements For A Diverse & Inclusive Culture, Gallup
- What's Working, Leadership Council On Legal Diversity
- PDF: Responses to Racists Comments Collected from the Field, Oregon Center for Educational Equity
- PDF: Strategies & Tactics For In-House Legal Departments To Improve Outside Counsel Diversity, Diversity Lab
- Resource Center: Talking About Race, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
- Research & Insights: Gallup Center on Black Voices, Gallup
READING LIST: GREAT AFRICAN-AMERICAN AUTHORS & FIGURES
As originally published in Mountaintop Consulting's July 2020 newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.
Each summer, I share a list of books and resources on various topics. Compiling the list has become a rewarding tradition that reconnects me with my love of books and my childhood. My mother was a public school English teacher for 34 years, so I had no choice but to be a voracious reader. Reading and the occasional road trip (often to pay homage to a writer) was the point of summer in our household.
This summer, I’ve been browsing my overflowing bookshelves to revisit some of my favorite books from African-American authors or about the African-American experience. The list is long.
If you’re a deal junkie like me or like business books, I highly recommend Reginald Lewis’ “Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun?.” It’s as close as you can get to an action thriller on Wall Street, telling the real story of Lewis, a Harvard JD whose love of the deal led him to create a billion-dollar business empire. It would be interesting to pair with Black Titan: A.G. Gaston And The Making Of A Black American Millionaire, a biography of Gaston, the grandson of slaves, who was born into poverty in 1892 and built sprawling businesses in Birmingham, Alabama.
To better understand the dynamics of racial justice being highlighted worldwide right now, I’d add to the many lists of recommended books on anti-racism Ellis Cose’s The Rage of A Privileged Class. I read it first in the mid-90’s, and it remains one of the best compilations to explain the daily personal and career challenges of very successful Black professionals. I also suggest Diahann Carroll’s The Legs Are The Last To Go, an autobiography that captures the grace and wit with which she has navigated racism and sexism in Hollywood for over half a century. She was the first Black woman to star in a non-stereotypical role on her own TV series (Julia in 1968). It wasn’t until over 40 years later that ABC’s Scandal would bring another television show starring a black actress to a major television network.
Finally, for those who need the escape of fiction or poetry, options abound. The Black Poets, an anthology by Dudley Randall, is my most dog-eared poetry recommendation, with works spanning two centuries. You also cannot go wrong with the fiction of Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones or Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison (including her first novel, the intense and tragic The Bluest Eye).
Precious Williams Owodunni | President & Founder of Mountaintop Consulting
Why did you want to climb Mt. Everest?
NY Times Reporter, 1925
Because it’s there.
George Mallory, Mountaineer
In Mountaintop’s presentation on Diversity for Competitive Advantage at our Firm Retreat, Precious and Rosa Maria talked about diversity in a way that was rooted in the business case. Starting with raw data and walking through trends and best practices to date, the presentation generated a meaningful and engaging discussion on a topic in which our firm is deeply invested and involved. The presenters’ insights as former in-house counsel and legal industry experts, paired with current trends in the space, provided new and innovative strategies that we look forward to incorporating in our ongoing D&I initiatives.
— Bob Angelico, Firm President & Managing Partner, Liskow & Lewis
Mountaintop Consulting has been a true change agent for our business. They have a unique way of delivering a message that opens doors and motivates successful behaviors.
— Doris Bobadilla, Director, Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith
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