Archive for March 2008

• WNJ Sponsors BLSA Law Journal

Warner Norcross & Judd is honored to be the Exclusive Presenting Sponsor of the inaugural issue of the Midwest Black Law Students Association Law JournalThe Journal, which is a new publication of the Midwest Region of the National Black Law Students Association, Inc., will be introduced during NBLSA’s annual convention in Detroit, on March 28.  Warner Norcross’s sponsorship is allowing the Journal to distribute its first issue free, to heighten awareness of this new publication.

The Journal will provide an alternative forum for students and professionals to write and publish academic works in a widely distributed publication.  The Journal is part of the Midwest Region’s efforts to equip its members with the skills necessary to be successful law students and attorneys upon graduation.    In addition to the Journal, the Midwest Region Annual conducts an Academic Retreat for its membership.  The Journal staff has been selected from a pool of applicants from various schools located within the Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

• WNJ Diversity Effort Featured in Detroiter Magazine

Detroiter March 2008Warner Norcross & Judd was one of three businesses whose diversity efforts are profiled in the March 2008 issue of Detroiter, a publication of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.  The article includes comments from Bill Jansen, Partner in Charge of the Southfield office, and Rodney Martin, the firm’s Diversity Partner, and includes a photo of our entering 2007 class of new associates.  Also featured in the article are PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and Walbridge Aldinger, Co., one of the top 50 construction companies in the United States.  To read a copy of the article, click here.

• Paul Hillegonds to Address Firm on Michigan’s Future

Paul Hillegonds Former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Paul Hillegonds will be addressing the firm at a Diversity Lunch-and-Learn on Monday, May 5.  Mr. Hillegonds, who is currently Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at DTE Energy in Detroit, served on a nonpartisan study group tasked with answering this question: “What really matters in better positioning Michigan for success in a knowledge-driven and entrepreneurial economy?”

The study group, formed under the auspices of Michigan Future Inc., a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization funded primarily by Michigan foundations, concluded that “the places that do the best in attracting talent from anywhere on the planet win.”  And the places that do that best are characterized by “[t]olerant attitudes and great diversity.”  If Michigan is to develop a knowledge-driven, entrepreneurial economy, the report concludes, we need to “develop a culture that unambiguously celebrates diversity and nurtures tolerance.” 

According to the study group’s report, “A New Agenda for a New Michigan,”  the group had not anticipated that their recommendations would begin with an emphasis on the importance of culture.  “It is not where we expected to end up when we began this project,” the report states, “So all of us together will have to learn how communities can change culture.” 

We have invited Mr. Hillegonds to talk to us about the evidence that drove the group to the conclusion that culture and diversity are important drivers of success.  Please save the date by marking your calendar for Monday, May 5.  More details will follow.

• Asian Film Festival in Grand Rapids

The West Michigan Asian Film Festival gets underway on Sunday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m. with a showing of the film Imelda, winner of the 2004 Sundance Award.  For the first time, Marcos tells her own story on film: how she rose from humble origins to become one of the richest and most powerful women in contemporary world history.  

The West Michigan Asian Film Festival is sponsored by the Asian Health Outreach Foundation. The showing will occur at Celebrations Cinema at Knapp’s Corners in Grand Rapids.  For more information, contact Albert Yu Chang.

• Bich Minh Nguyen to Speak on Growing Up in Grand Rapids

Bich Minh NguyenThe Main Branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library will be hosting author Bich Minh Nguyen on Thursday, March 27 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.  Nguyen will be discussing her critically acclaimed memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which recounts the author’s coming of age in Grand Rapids after her family fled Vietnam at the end of the war.   Growing up as an immigrant in our community, Nguyen hungered to be a “real” American.   Her desire to belong translated into a passion for American food. While her Buddhist grandmother, Noi, made traditional Vietnamese spring rolls and green sticky rice cakes, young Bich (pronounced “Bit”) craved Ding Dongs and Doritos.  

Nguyen’s publisher summarizes her book as follows:

Beginning with Nguyen’s family’s harrowing migration from Saigon in 1975, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner is nostalgic and candid, deeply satisfying and minutely observed, and stands as a unique vision of the immigrant experience and a lyrical ode to how identity is often shaped by the things we long for.

For more information on the book, click here.

• 2008 Partners for a Racism-Free Community Forum


Partners for a Racism-Free Community will be holding its annual Forum on Friday, March 28.  (This event used to be called the Summit on Racism.)  The Forum will be held at the Steelcase University Learning Center Town Hall from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. 

Over the past couple of years, the Summit on Racism has focused on establishing on on-going campaign to rid our community of racisim.  At last year’s Summit, the formation of Partners for a Racism-Free Community (“PRFC“) was announced.   The Forum this year will, among other things bring people up to date on work of the PRFC Standards Committee with a group of pilot organizations, including Warner Norcross & Judd.  The Standards Committee has established a process to assess the success of businesses and organizations in ridding themselves of racism.  Our firm is currently in the middle of that process. 

Warner Norcross has been a strong supporter of the Summit on Racism and Partners for a Racism-Free Community for many years.  It is important that we have a strong showing at this year’s forum.  If you would like to attend, please contact Rodney Martin and he will get you registered.