The Washington Initiative for Diversity

The Washington Initiative for Diversity (formerly the “Initiative for Diversity Governing Council” or “IDGC”) was established in 2004 to advance diversity in the legal profession with respect to hiring, retention, promotion and elevation into leadership positions.

In early 2000, there were several reports that confirmed what many in the legal profession believed—that barriers still existed and prevented certain members in the legal profession from reaching the highest levels of status and compensation.

Minority Bar Associations of Washington, the Glass Ceiling Task Force, the King County Bar Association, and other groups, who were working independently to improve diversity in the legal profession, came together to collaborate on the Initiative for Diversity, appreciating the strength in unity and benefits in sharing of resources.

Our Mission

Provide tools and strategies to help legal employers build an inclusive work environment and a diverse workforce. We are a broad-based coalition of legal professionals working to ensure that our profession reflects and serves the diverse communities of Washington State.

How We Define Diversity

Diversity, as used in the Initiative for Diversity, includes those historically discriminated against or disadvantaged based on ethnicity, race, culture, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, religion, age, and physical, mental and sensory ability.

What We Do

The Washington Initiative for Diversity (WID) works collaboratively with Minority Bar Associations, Specialty Bar Associations, law firms, corporate in-house counsel, and others in the legal community to provide tools and resources to increase diversity in the legal profession in Washington State.

“A diverse and inclusive profession; empathy that recognizes institutional and personal barriers; action which moves beyond dialogue; and allies are all essential ingredients to true equity and justice for the members of our profession and the communities we serve.  As President of the Washington State Bar Association, I’m proud that we continue to support the important work of the Washington Initiative for Diversity in helping legal employers bring about the changes we know our profession needs to make.”

Brad Furlong
WSBA President, 2017-2018

Meet the Board

Ken Payson
David Wright Tremaine
Chair

Arezou Arefi-Afshar
Securonix, Inc
Board Member

Neal Luna
Board Member

Joanne Thomas Blackburn
Gordon Thomas Honeywell
Board Member

Laurie Powers
Gonzaga University Law School
Vice Chair

Alex Foster-Brown
Washington Attorney Generals Office
Board Member

Justice Barbara Madsen
Washington State Supreme Court
Board Member

David Wilson
Microsoft
Board Member

Sumona Patel
University of Washington Medical School
Secretary

Onik’a Gilliam
Helsell Fetterman
Board Member

Edwardo Morfin
Anderson Law
Board Member

Terra Nevitt
Washington State Bar Association
Treasurer

Mudit Kakar
Choice Capital Law
Board Member

Binh Nguyen
BECU
Board Member