Archive for June 2008

• Lunch and Learn: Raising Culturally Competent Children – RSVP Information

Melita Travis JohnsonFor most of people, the workplace is the only place they regularly have contact with people from other ethnic groups.  Our neighborhoods, religious institutions and clubs tend not to reflect the rich cultural diversity of our state.  This raises the issue of how we as parents and grandparents can raise children who will be able to thrive in our multicultural world?

We have invited Melita Travis-Johnson, a social worker with Encompass, to join us at noon on Monday, July 28, to address that question in a talk called “Raising Culturally Competent Children.”  The talk will take place at a Lunch-and-Learn session at the University Club and will be streamed over the Internet to our other offices. 

Please RSVP to this luncheon presentation to Robin Keith by Monday, July 21.

• Warner Norcross Announces 10 Recipients in Expanded Minority Scholarship Program

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP today announced that it has awarded $19,000 in scholarships to 10 minority students from around the state of Michigan.

The 2008 scholarship awards represent an expansion of a long-standing program designed to encourage diversity in the legal profession in Michigan. 

Now in its 8th year, the Warner Norcross Minority Scholarship helps students to cover the educational costs of pursuing a degree in law or paralegal studies.  This year there are two recipients in this program. 

  • Maurice Taylor, of Detroit,  is the recipient of a $5,000 law school scholarship. Mr. Taylor is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Dearborn and will begin his studies at the Harvard Law School this fall. 
  • Patricia Mata, of Sparta, is this year’s recipient of a $2,000 paralegal studies scholarship. Ms. Mata is enrolled at Davenport University. 

The funds for the Warner Norcross Minority Scholarships come from the firm’s Corporate Advised Fund at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

This year, Warner Norcross has expanded its scholarship program by awarding eight $1,500 scholarships to enable minority college students to attend a study course to prepare them to take the Law School Admission Test.  Studies show that students who take a prep course in advance of the LSAT post improved results on the test, which determines entrance into law school. 

This year’s recipients of the Warner Norcross LSAT Preparation Course Scholarship include:

  • Tina Alonzo, of Detroit, Michigan (Michigan State University)
  • Jeanine Anderson, of Chicago, Illinois (Grand Valley State University)
  • Sierra Hill, of Toledo, Ohio (Eastern Michigan University)
  • Markanetta Jones, of Wyoming, Michigan (Grand Valley State University)
  • Luis Lozano, of Holland, Michigan (University of Michigan)
  • Meagan Threats, of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Michigan State University)
  • Jovan Turner, of Chicago, Illinois (Albion College)
  • Jennifer White, of Novi, Michigan (Michigan State University)

“We are very pleased to once again offer scholarships in support of minority students pursuing legal studies,” said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner for Warner Norcross.  “We are especially pleased to expand our program to enable college students who are considering a career in law to prepare to do their best on the Law School Admission Test. 

“Through these scholarships, as well as other outreach programs, we are working to ensure that the legal profession is open and welcoming to all.”

Details about the Warner Norcross & Judd scholarship programs are available online at

• Photos from the Grand Race Road Rally

The Public Museum has provided us with the photos it took during the Grand Race Road Rally on June 14.  I have put them into a photo slideshow for you here.

• Logie Discusses White Privilege in Radio Interview

John Logie was one of three “influential older white men” interviewed recently by Michigan Now Radio in connection with the annual celebration of Juneteenth.  Juneteenth commemorates that date in 1865 when Union forces took control of the State of Texas and enforced the Emancipation Proclamation:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.

In the interview, Logie discussed racism and white privilege:

[Y]ou have to understand the concept of white privilege. You and I walk into a restaurant expecting people to serve us with pleasure and be nice to us. That’s not the experience of a lot of people of different colors. It’s not the actual experience and therefore it’s not the expectation. But you and I have an expectation of white privilege because we’ve taken it for granted all of our lives.”

The interview can be hear at

• Video from the Grand Rapids Race Rally 2008

On Saturday, June 14, eleven enthusiastic teams from the firm competed in the first-ever Grand Race Road Rally staged exclusively for Warner Norcross & Judd by the Public Museum of Grand Rapids.  Each team was issued passports with clues that guided the teams to seven different neighborhoods in Grand Rapids.  In each neighborhood, the teams had to complete a challenge to get their passports stamped.