Warner Norcross Diversity Partner on Committee to be Honored with Giants Award


Rodney D. Martin, the Diversity Partner of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, is among the members of the City of Grand Rapids Rosa Parks Sculpture Committee who will be honored with a 2012 Giants Award this weekend.

The 18-member Sculpture Committee will receive the William Glenn Trailblazer Award on Saturday, Jan. 28 during the annual Giants banquet at Grand Rapids Community College. The awards began in 1983 to recognize African Americans who made exceptional contributions “shaping the history and quality of life of greater Grand Rapids.”

The Rosa Parks Sculpture Committee was established by the city in 2008 to work with the city’s Community Relations Commission to design a new piece of public art of Rosa Parks for installation in the downtown park that bears her name. The groups selected Colorado sculptor Ed Dwight, who unveiled his work of the civil rights icon in September 2010. The bronze statue, which has a prominent place at the intersection of Pearl Street and Monroe Avenue, features a stalwart Parks standing steadfast in front of the seat she refused to yield to a white passenger in 1959, sparking the famous boycott of the Montgomery bus system.

The award is named for William Glenn, a civil rights activist and one of the first African Americans to work in a Grand Rapids war factory during World War II. He strived to convince area factories to open their doors to African American factory workers during the War. Glenn also played a key role in planning the Campau Housing Project and was an advocate for better housing throughout the city.

As Diversity Partner of Warner Norcross, Martin leads the firm’s programs and initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion. He serves on the State Bar of Michigan’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, the Cultural Diversity Council of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Advisory Council of BL2END. He is currently serving as a facilitator for the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.

Martin concentrates his practice on financial institutions, with an emphasis on bank regulatory issues, fair lending, financial privacy and related matters. He currently serves as chair of the Financial Services Practice Group.