Aoki Center Presents: Bill Kennedy "Diversity Logic - How Diverse Decision-Making Makes Us Smarter, More Resilient, and Better Able to Achieve Justice " _1/28/2020

Diversity Logic - How Diverse Decision-Making Makes Us Smarter, More Resilient, and Better Able to Achieve Justice William C. Kennedy, Law Office of William Kennedy and faculty member at Racial Justice Training Institute For many years efforts to diversify the legal profession and the practice of law have been pursued on moral, practical, or political grounds. These grounds offer weak support for necessary institutional change. Data from Silicon Valley, the Fortune 100 and the US Military submitted in Supreme Court briefs in Fisher II, the University of Texas affirmative action case reveal a fundamental failure to understand diversity’s value. Indeed, the science tells us diverse decision-making makes us smarter, better able to solve complex problems, and makes our law firms better able to respond to the shifting environment in which our work unfolds. For many years the data supporting diverse decision-making was considered “proprietary” and held closely by businesses employing diversity logic to keep a competitive advantage. In 2016, the tech giant Google made public over a million pages of data and evaluation to describe the essential nature of their efforts at implementing diversity logic. Applying the science developed by economists and mathematicians to social justice lawyering is a difficult task and requires a basic rethinking of traditional firm structures and roles. William Kennedy, a privileged White man, is on the faculty of the Racial Justice Institute who has spent the past decade incorporating diversity logic in the training of a national network of racial justice advocates in 26 states. He will discuss Diversity Logic as one of the essential tools of racial justice advocacy. From 1974 until September 2015, Bill Kennedy served on the front lines of legal services programs in California, where his work focused primarily on housing and civil rights. He is now in private practice and serves as faculty for the Racial Justice Institute. Bill brings a practitioner's perspective to the discussion of cognitive science and the law. He is currently on the faculty of the Racial Justice Training Institute.