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Mayer Brown invites you to our new year-long educational series featuring fearless conversations with experts in their fields on the experiences, perspectives and challenges of being Black in America. Please reach out to your Mayer Brown contact for a registration link to our next event. Bookmark this page and return periodically to learn about additional speakers as they are added to our series.

We look forward to growing and learning together.


Racial Justice in Corporate America: Ten Rules for Transforming the Workplace

Photo of Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle Silverthorn is a workplace culture expert focused on inclusion. She offers key insights on the unique experiences and challenges of being a Black professional in corporate America in 2021 and specific advice on the role each one of us must play in fostering meaningful, sustainable change. Michelle has worked with Fortune 500 companies, professional service firms, non-profit organizations, universities, and other organizations across every industry.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School, Michelle practiced for two large law firms in New York and Chicago before founding her company, Inclusion Nation. She is a TEDx speaker and the author of the best-selling book, Authentic Diversity: How to Change the Workplace For Good.


A Primer on Structural Racism in America's Institutions: Education, Housing, Transportation and COVID-19

Photo of Deborah Archer

Deborah N. Archer is a nationally recognized expert on civil rights and racial justice. Her scholarship has appeared in leading law reviews, including Michigan Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and the Harvard Civil Right-Civil Liberties Law Review. She is a professor of clinical law and co-faculty director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at New York University School of Law. Prior to that, she was an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where she litigated in the areas of voting rights, employment discrimination, and school desegregation.

Deborah is currently a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union and general counsel to the board. She is also a member of the board of the Legal Aid Society of New York. Deborah previously served on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the nation’s oldest and largest police oversight agency, and the 2018 New York City Charter Revision Commission.


A Deep Dive into the Criminal Justice System's Disparate Impact on Black Americans

Photo of Rachel Barkow

Rachel Barkow served as a member of the United States Sentencing Commission from 2013 to 2019. Since 2010, she has also been a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Conviction Integrity Policy Advisory Panel. Currently, she is the vice dean and Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy and the Faculty Director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at NYU. She has testified numerous times before Congress and her work has been cited by the Supreme Court and numerous lower courts. She served as a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman on the District of Columbia Circuit, and Justice Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court.

Professor Barkow’s scholarship focuses on applying the lessons and theory of administrative and constitutional law to the administration of criminal justice. She is the author of Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration, the co-author of a leading casebook on criminal law, and more than 20 articles that span a range of topics.


Race, Technology and Public Policy: Bringing Accountability to Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Photo of Mutale Nkonde

Mutale Nkonde is an artificial intelligence policy advisor and fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and a fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford. She is the founding CEO of AI For the People, a nonprofit communications agency with the mission to eliminate the under-representation of Black professionals in the American technology sector by 2030.

Prior to starting AI For the People, Nkonde worked in AI governance. During that time, she was part of the team that introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act, the Deep Fakes Accountability Acts, and the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act to the US House of Representatives. She started her career as a broadcast journalist and produced documentaries for the BBC, CNN and ABC.


Additional speakers will be added periodically. Be sure to check back.