2024 DRI Diversity for Success Seminar

June 12–14, 2024
Renaissance Nashville Hotel | Nashville, Tennessee

Diverse people collaborating in a meeting room

Learn to Leverage Diversity & Achieve Excellence!

Register by April 29, 2024, to receive the early bird discounted rate.
View registration information here.

Register for the Seminar

The DRI Diversity and Inclusion Committee invites you to the 19th annual Diversity for Success Seminar and Corporate Expo in Nashville, Tennessee. With the theme, "Fighting the Current of the Anti-Diversity Tide," this seminar is designed to address the recent legal decisions and lawsuits meant to stunt recent efforts to increase diversity in our educational and occupational settings. In addition to gaining insights from and networking with in-house counsel and potential referral sources, attendees will also find resources and tools to incorporate in their career and organization that will improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Also, the Women of Color Roundtable is back by popular demand!
Join us on Wednesday, June 12 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel as we present three engaging and energizing panels that will address relevant and timely topics, including networking, career advancement, and salary negotiation strategies. The Roundtable is open to EVERYONE!

You can also register for an additional networking luncheon opportunity from 12:00–1:00 p.m., right before the Roundtable! Please come ready to feast on some traditional Southern cuisine. The cost for the luncheon is $75, so make sure you add this to your shopping cart when you register.

Join us for the Corporate Expo!
This will take place on Friday, June 14 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.
You must be registered for the seminar and be a DRI member to participate.

Learn more about the Expo

What You Will Learn:

  • How universities are responding to the recent Supreme Court decision in order to continue promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I).
  • How employers are responding to D&I lawsuits regarding D&I initiatives.
  • Implicit bias in artificial intelligence.
  • The impact of discriminatory legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community in Tennessee.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Connecting with an unparalleled number of in-house counsel, potential clients, and referral sources.
  • Taking advantage of the unique opportunity to pitch yourself and your law firm to in-house counsel at the 2024 Corporate Expo.

Panel Counsel Meetings with Major Companies
Take advantage of the opportunity to engage with key industry companies* including:

  • TBD

*Subject to change

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Thank You to DRI's Diversity and Inclusion Committee Leadership

Mohamed N. Bakry
Mohamed N. Bakry
Program Chair
Ebony Morris
Ebony S. Morris
Program Vice Chair
Gary L. Howard
Gary L. Howard
Committee Chair
Imoh E. Akpan
Imoh E. Akpan
Committee Vice Chair
Sharon Stuart
Sharon D. Stuart
Law Institute

Join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Registration Information

Save up to $300 when you register on or before April 29!

Register Today

Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing Non-Member Bundle ^
Early Bird Registration*
(Now thru Apr. 29)
$1,095 $1,295 $1,415
Regular Registration*
(Apr. 30–Jun. 11)
$1,295 $1,495 $1,615
Onsite Registration $1,395 $1,595 $1,715
Group Registration (Non-Sponsored)** $1,095 per person $1,095 per person $1,095 per person
Government Government members will receive the applicable government rate for the seminar upon login. If the government rate does not appear after logging in, please call DRI directly at (312) 795-1101 to receive the discounted rate. Invoices can be sent after purchase upon request.

Not a DRI Member? Select the Non-Member Bundle and Save!

^ Not a DRI Member and want to save on your registration? Take advantage of the Non-Member / Trial Membership Bundle when you register for the DRI Diversity for Success Seminar. Select the bundle and get up to 9 months of membership with the membership add-on when you check out. Note: Trial membership processing can take up to 30 days from the date of purchase, please contact DRI Customer Service with any questions.

Learn more about membership at DRI and get started on your DRI journey today!

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate. If you would like to join DRI to receive the member pricing and see the benefits of becoming a member, click here to go to the Application page.

**Group registration is for registering four or more attendees, members and non-members. There is one free registration with every 10 registrations. You must lock in the rate three weeks prior to the seminar. If you want to register for the group pricing, fill out the form here (online registration is not available for this offering).

Networking Events

Premier Networking Event at the XXXXX
Sponsored by: ABC

Date: Wednesday, Month Day from 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Pricing: Free when you register for the seminar (guest tickets $100 each, available at check-out)
Location: XXXXX, Address, City, State


Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Time (Central) Program
12:00 p.m. Registration
12:00 p.m. Women of Color Luncheon
1:00 p.m. Women of Color Roundtable (in connection with the Insurance Bad Faith and Young Lawyers Seminars)

Despite diversity and inclusion being a daily topic within the legal profession, the needle is barely moving, in particular, for women of color within the profession. The DRI Women of Color Roundtable will be a candid discussion on challenges facing women of color within the legal profession and will provide insight on how women of color attorneys can overcome those challenges.
6:00 p.m. Networking / Cocktail Hour
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own).

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Time (Central) Program
8:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee Service

Get to know the early risers in our group over a cup of coffee.
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Sharon D. Stuart, Esq., Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South, Hoover, AL
Mohamed N. Bakry, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin PC, Philadelphia, PA
8:45 a.m. Challenging Discrimination: A Deep Dive into Tennessee's Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws

This presentation explores the legal landscape surrounding LGBTQ+ rights in Tennessee, shedding light on the state's legislation that has been a focal point of controversy. This comprehensive examination delves into the historical context and evolution of anti-LGBTQ+ laws, examining their impact on the community. The narrative navigates through key legal battles, shedding light on both proponents and opponents of these laws. With a critical lens, the exploration considers the broader societal implications and debates arising from the legal framework, emphasizing the ongoing efforts to challenge discriminatory policies and promote inclusivity. Through in-depth analysis, this piece aims to foster a deeper understanding of the complex intersection between law, discrimination, and LGBTQ+ rights in the state of Tennessee.

Gary Howard, Esq., Walmart, Bentonville, AR
The Honorable Judge Rachel L. Bell, General Sessions Music City Community Court, Division VIII, Nashville, TN
10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:30 a.m. Authentic Diversity

The program on disingenuous diversity and inclusion addresses the phenomenon where organizations superficially embrace diversity initiatives without fostering genuine inclusivity. It explores instances where companies may prioritize optics over meaningful change, implementing token diversity measures without addressing systemic issues. The program delves into the potential negative consequences of such disingenuous efforts, including the perpetuation of stereotypes and the alienation of underrepresented groups. It advocates for a shift towards authentic inclusivity, emphasizing the need for structural changes that go beyond mere symbolic gestures. The program aims to raise awareness about the importance of sincerity in fostering diversity and inclusion within organizational cultures.

Christina Gonzales, Esq., Goldberg Segalla, Philadelphia, PA
Al Ibuzor, Esq., VP & Associate Group General Counsel, Travelers, Melville, NY
Clint Woodfin, Esq., Spicer Rudstrom, Knoxville, TN
Rhasheda S. Douglas, Assistant Dean, Director of the Minority Student Program at Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ
Charlie D. Price, Esq., Eaton, Cleveland, OH
11:30 a.m. AI and Implicit Bias

We delve into the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and the subtle biases that can be embedded within its algorithms. We explore how machine learning models, often trained on historical data, may inadvertently perpetuate, and even amplify societal biases. The discussion emphasizes the importance of understanding these implicit biases to ensure responsible AI development and deployment. Additionally, we explore potential strategies and ethical considerations to mitigate bias and promote fair and unbiased AI systems.

Sean C. Griffin, Robinson & Cole LLP, Washington, D.C.
12:30 p.m. DRI Cares: Blessings in a Backpack

Click here for details on Blessings in a Backpack.
12:30 p.m. Diversity Awards Luncheon (tickets included in seminar registration)
1:45 p.m. Shifting Sands: The Impact of the Supreme Court Decision on the Recruitment and Admission of Students in Higher Education

For over 40 years federal law has permitted higher education institutions to consider race in a limited capacity in admissions processes. In summer 2023, the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC, that further restricted this practice. Hear from two higher education admission leaders about the way they are adjusting recruitment and admissions practices to comply with the ruling, the potential long-term impact that this will have on college and law school enrollment, and ways they are working to enhance recruitment strategies and cross-sector partnerships to continue to attract diverse populations of students.

Matthew Saleh, Rutgers Law School, Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Katrice Albert, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
2:55 p.m. Coaching Leadership

The coaching model provide examples of how it works and do a demonstration to help you learn about another tool in your toolbox of success. Communication and conflict management; setting your boundaries for respect and professional integrity; Not knowing how to say ‘no’ to non-mandatory requests/opportunities from superiors that are not in line with your career trajectory or your values; Not knowing how to say ‘yes’; risk of unexpected consequences such as much more work than advertised; and Lack of feeling of belonging and/or Imposter Syndrome.

Susan Eagle, M.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
R. Matthew Cairns, Textron, Inc., Providence, RI
3:45 p.m. Defending Diversity: Legal Frontiers in Addressing Lawsuits Against Law Firms' DE&I Initiatives

We will explore the legal challenges faced by law firms in implementing and defending Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. The discussion will delve into the evolving legal landscape surrounding these initiatives, examining recent lawsuits and their implications. Attendees will gain insights into the intersection of employment law and DE&I efforts, as well as strategies for mitigating legal risks. Ultimately, the presentation aims to empower law firms to proactively navigate legal frontiers while championing diversity within their organizations.

Ebony S. Morris, Esq., Foley Mansfield, New Orleans, LA
Atoyia Harris, Esq., Proskauer, New Orleans, LA
Reginald Johnson, Signet Jewelers, Dallas, TX
Shannon O’Connor Berube, Textron, Providence, RI
4:45 p.m. Diversity and Inclusion Committee Meeting (open to all)
6:00 p.m. Premier Networking Reception

Join fellow seminar attendees at our Premier Networking Reception. More details to come.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Time (Central) Program
8:00 a.m. Diversity Expo (by invitation only)

Click here for details on the expo.
12:30 p.m. Expo Adjourn

Headquarters Hotel Information

The seminar will take place at Renaissance Nashville Hotel, 611 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN 37203.
To contact the hotel directly, call 615-255-8400.

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Take advantage of the group rate of $325.00 Single/Double in one of two ways:

The hotel block is limited, and rooms and rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must make reservations by May 14, 2024, to be eligible for the hotel's group rate. Requests for reservations made after May 14 are subject to room and rate availability.

CLE Information

Earn up to TBD hours of continuing legal education hours (CLE) From this seminar.

View CLE Credit by State

In some states that charge late CLE submission fees, there will be a $100 late fee to report CLE credits submitted more than 30 days after a seminar/virtual event. Click the button below for more details.

CLE Late Fees


DRI's Diversity for Success Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Bradley Dinsmore Legal Counsel FM Foley & Mansfield Glassman Wyatt Tuttle Cox P.C. Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani JS | Held
Liskow logo Locke Lord logo MD Marshall Dennehey MGC Insurance Defense PM Perez Morris Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney WF | Wong Fleming Attorneys at Law

If you would like to contact DRI about seminar sponsorship opportunities, including pricing, or to reserve a spot, please go to Advertising and Sponsorship.

DRI Cares

Tennessee Justice For Our Neighbors (TJFON)

TNJFON Tennessee Justice for our Neighbors

The DRI Diversity for Success Seminar in coordination with DRI Cares will be fundraising this year for the Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors ("TJFON"). TJFON provides free or low-cost immigration legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, ideology, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This fundraiser will help support TJFON in their mission to provide free or low-cost, compassionate immigration services including legal, education and advocacy services across Tennessee. Donations will be collected through the DRI Foundation, and a donation will be made to TJON on behalf of the DRI Foundation.

To donate online:

  1. Click the "Donate" button or scan the QR code below.
  2. If you have an account with DRI, log in. Use the same login that you registered for this seminar.
  3. If you do not have an account with DRI, create a guest account.
  4. Select from one of the gift amounts or set your own amount. The default value is $100.
  5. Select "Diversity and Inclusion" from "My SLC/Region" dropdown box.
  6. Click “Submit Donation.”
  7. The page will refresh. Click “View Cart” to checkout.
  8. Enter your credit card information and click “Submit Order” once all required information is entered.


Substantive Law Committee QR Code Foundation Contributions

Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack Who Will Feed the Kids this Weekend?

Please join us in supporting Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry. Seminar attendees will have the opportunity to fill bags of food on the way to the joint networking lunch on Thursday, June 13. Feeding a child before you feed yourself is a wonderful way to support children and families in the Nashville community.

Donate to Blessings in a Backpack

Other Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding DRI programs, please contact DRI Customer Service at 312.795.1101 or custservice@dri.org.