(CHICAGO) Katten announced today that in observance of Juneteenth, the firm hosted an event discussing the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) movement and ways to continue its progress.

"We believe community-building events and professional development programs centered around DEI are critical to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture at Katten where we want all our attorneys and business professionals to succeed," Chief Diversity Partner Leslie Minier said of the program highlighting the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery throughout the United States.

"We value a Katten community that thrives on the rich diversity of backgrounds, ideas and experiences of our workforce," she added. "We are proud to celebrate the diversity of our firm and encourage understanding, awareness and allyship across differences."

The event, "Beyond Backlash: Charting the Next Frontier of Inclusion," was moderated by Counsel Tracie Bedeaux, Co-Chair of Katten's Black Attorneys Affinity Group, and featured speakers including David Dormon, Downtown Music General Counsel; Michelle Speller-Thurman, Abbott Laboratories Divisional Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Licensing & Acquisitions; and Lynn Watkins-Asiyanbi, CECO Environmental Corp. Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative & Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary.

The panelists shared innovative strategies they are using to continue advancing important DEI initiatives, such as the creation of impactful tools and measuring accountability to create sustainable forward momentum as it relates to inclusion and belonging.

In past years, Katten commemorated Juneteenth by hosting panels such as the "Navigating DEI Partnerships Program," in which business leaders discussed whether the economic environment could adversely affect DEI, the importance of maintaining a strong commitment to DEI, opportunities for partnerships on DEI initiatives, and how best to combat any slowing enthusiasm for greater diversity and inclusion. The firm also hosted "Juneteenth — A celebration of emancipation and its impact on attorneys of color," a fireside chat and reception.