Archive for July 2011

17th Annual GRCC Diversity Lecture Series Announced

For 17 years, Grand Rapids Community College has been bringing thoughtful and provocative speakers to address our community at the Diversity Lecture Series.  GRCC has just announced the speakers for the 2011-2012 academic year and once again the list is impressive. The speakers in the 17th Diversity Lecture Series include:

  • Nicholas D. Kristof – September 26, 2011   “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women”

Nicholas Kristof, is the author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women, which outlines an agenda for the world’s women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; and maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and columnist for The New York Times since 2001, is widely known for bringing to light human rights abuses in Asia and Africa. Many reviewers suggest that Half the Sky stands to become a classic, igniting a grass-roots revolution.

  • Jeannette Walls – October 26, 2011  “The Glass Castle: Demon Hunting and Other Life Lessons”

Jeannette Walls is author of the memoir, The Glass Castle, which has been on the New York Times best-sellers list for over three years. The book details Walls’ life growing up in extreme poverty and describes the unimaginable obstacles she faced. From the desert of the Southwest to her parent’s later homelessness in New York City, Walls’ account of an impoverished life is a compelling testament to what it means to be poor. Jeannette Walls is also a journalist whose work has appeared in New York Magazine, Esquire, USA Today, and MSNBC.

  • Maziar Bahari – November 9, 2011  “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival”

Maziar Bahari, Iranian-Canadian journalist was arrested in Tehran on trumped-up charges of espionage in the aftermath of the contested 2009 election. Held in solitary confinement for 118 days, enduring physical and psychological torture, he chronicles his story in, Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival. As a correspondent for Newsweek, Bahari is an expert on Iran yet also embraces a wide range of subjects as a filmmaker, from Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, to Iraqi child prisoners and Aids in South Africa.

  •  Jeff Johnson – February 15, 2012  “Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am”

 Jeff Johnson is renowned both for his conversations with world figures in the political, business and entertainment arenas and his grass-roots work seeking to inspire the next generation of leaders. Johnson is a trailblazing social entrepreneur and authentic voice for change. Sometimes called the “conscience voice” of BET Networks, Johnson looks for ways to merge the worlds of politics and popular culture, through broad-based communication, including as a contributor to the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He is the author of Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am.

  • Naomi Wolf – March 14, 2012   “Beyond Victimization: The Beauty Myth Revisited”

Author of seven books, including the New York Times best seller The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf focuses on gender equality, pervasive inequities in society and politics, the defense of liberty in America and internationally, and body image. She is the cofounder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, which teaches ethics and empowerment to young women leaders. In Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries, Wolf argues that breathtaking changes take place when ordinary citizens engage in the democratic system the way the founders intended, through civic engagement.

Warner Norcross & Judd has been a proud sponsor of the Diversity Lecture Series for a number of years.  For more information about the Diversity Lecture Series, visit the website of the GRCC Diversity Learning Center (click here).

Warner Norcross Announces 11th Annual Minority Scholarship Recipients

For the 11th year in a row, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has awarded academic scholarships to minority students from Michigan who are completing their legal studies.

The Warner Norcross scholarship program provides monetary assistance to students to help cover the educational costs associated with a law degree or paralegal studies.  The 2011 recipients are:

  • Amber A. Hay of Ann Arbor, Law School Scholarship
  • Darryl L. Todd of Muskegon, Paralegal/Legal Assistant Scholarship

Since it began its scholarship programs, Warner Norcross has awarded more than $100,000 to support programs that encourage minority students to pursue a career in the law.

The 2011 winners were chosen by a selection committee at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation based on essays that outlined personal goals and challenges that have drawn them into the field of law.  The funds for the scholarships come from the Warner Norcross Corporate Advised Fund at Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Hay, who received the law firm’s $5,000 Law School Scholarship, will be a third-year law student at the University of Michigan School of Law.  She serves on the executive board and is the Butch Carpenter chairperson of the Black Law Students Alliance.  She is also the Michigan delegate to the National Black Law Students Association and a volunteer for Future Advocates in Training.

Hay has tutored throughout her time in law school, in addition to interning in the law office of an Ann Arbor civil rights attorney and clerking for a Detroit law firm.  A native of Detroit, Hay holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Michigan, where she ran track.

Todd received the law firm’s $2,000 Paralegal/Legal Assistant Scholarship.  He is currently working toward a degree at Davenport University in Grand Rapids.  Todd volunteers his time with Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children and Safe in my Brothers’ Arms, a mentoring program for at-risk teenage boys.  He has also coached boys’ basketball and served on the board for Pathfinders, an organization focused on at-risk inner-city youth.  Prior to returning to school earlier this year, Todd worked for Pitney Bowes, Inc.

In order to be considered for a scholarship, applicants must:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher;
  • Be a Michigan resident accepted to or currently attending an accredited law school within the United States, or a non-Michigan resident attending a Michigan law school (for the Law School Scholarship);
  • Be a Michigan resident enrolled in an accredited college or university in Michigan (for the Paralegal Scholarship);
  • Demonstrate financial need;
  • Submit a statement of goals and aspirations related to their legal studies; and
  • Be a member of an ethnic or racial minority.

In addition to its longstanding tuition scholarship program, Warner Norcross also annually awards scholarships to minority students in their junior or senior year of  college to pay the costs of a study course for the Law School Admission Test.  Information about these scholarship programs is available on the firm’s website at

Warner Norcross & Judd to Serve as Leadership Partner for BL²END’s Five-Year Celebration

BL²END (Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions) will be celebrating its fifth anniversary at a dinner on August 15.  The evening will celebrate BL²END’s passion, leadership and legacy. 

Warner Norcross is proud to serve as the Leadership Partner for the celebration.  As Leadership Partner, Warner Norcross is honored to introduce the keynote speaker for the evening, Ms. Ingrid Jacobs, who is  Whirlpool Corporation’s Manager of Diversity and Inclusion.

BL²END offers young professionals of color opportunities to learn, network, grow and become engaged in the Grand Rapids community. The organization’s membership meets monthly, engaging in professional development, networking and community service events. 

“BL²END is a remarkable organization,” says Warner Norcross Diversity Partner Rodney Martin, who serves on the BL²END.  “They play a very important role in helping connect young professionals of color to each other and to the business community. ”

For information about BL²END’s Five-Year Celebration, click here.