Working to challenge biases, embrace diversity


Two of the state’s most prominent bar associations have joined forces to present the 23 in ’23 Diversity Challenge, a year-long program designed to deepen the collective understanding of diversity and inclusion in the greater legal community.

“The Detroit Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Ingham County Bar Association Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee invite you to continue the activities and practices that expand your awareness of diverse populations in 2023 with the 23 in ’23 Challenge,” said Sheena Law Killinger, executive director of the Detroit Bar Association. “There will be Challenge Check-in Calls in March, September, and December with special guest speakers and opportunities to share your experience.”

Accordingly, the Diversity Challenge will feature 23 components, beginning with “Cognitive Bias and Decision Making,” in which participants will “learn how biases can negatively impact decision making and how to challenge your own biases.”

Other aspects of the program include: Putting the “B” in “DEIB”; Equity vs. Equality; How to Be an Ally; Understand and Embrace Neurodiversity; Implicit Association Test; The Urgency of Intersectionality; Mental Health Awareness; Pronouns Matter; Understanding and Addressing Microaggressions; The Three Types of Microaggressions; Bias Interrupters; Names Matter; Coffee & Conversations; Ability Awareness; Inclusive Meeting Behavior; Inclusive Feedback; Eliminate Racist Euphemisms; Sympathy and Empathy; Generational Diversity; Word Toward Being Anti-Racist; Inclusive Holidays; and Confront Your Biases.

The final facet of the program will feature a TED Talk presented by attorney Verna Myers, “stressing the importance of acknowledging and confronting our own biases,” Killinger indicated.

Attorney Antoinette Porter, a 2004 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, was the original creator of the Diversity Challenge, according to Killinger. Porter currently serves as Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Human Resources for DT Midstream, a natural gas pipeline company. This year’s program was updated by attorney Katharine Brink Harrison, manager of Diversity and Talent at Bodman. An alumna of Albion College, Harrison earned her juris doctor degree from Detroit Mercy Law.

For more information on the Diversity Challenge, contact Killinger at or call (810) 923-2333.


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