Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At the First District Appellate Project, we are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace, our legal work, California’s justice system, and the legal profession. We recognize that the legal system and the prison-industrial complex oppress and dehumanize members of disenfranchised communities and that the legal system has often failed to protect individuals from that oppression.  

We believe in an environment where our clients, staff, volunteers, and board members, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, age, sexual orientation or identity, socio-economic status, education, disability, or religious, spiritual, and secular belief systems are valued and recognized. We are committed to nondiscriminatory practices and to providing equal opportunities in our work, board membership, and to our panel of appointed appellate attorneys. We respect diverse life experiences and strive to ensure all voices are heard.

We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion for the legal nonprofit sector, and to maintaining an environment with equitable treatment for all. FDAP commits to the following goals and values:

  • Make diversity, inclusion, and equity integral to our mission and critical to the well-being of our staff, our board, the appellate project panel, and the communities we serve.
  • Acknowledge and redress any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and to consistently update and report progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Ensure that our clients are treated with respect and dignity.
  • Advocate for and support analysis of the ways in which systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and to address these inequities consistent with our mission.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in our interactions.
  • Commit resources to expand diverse leadership within our board, staff, and committees.
  • Treat others with respect and obtain permission before interacting.

FDAP commits to the following practices to promote diversity and inclusion:

  • Develop substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies that celebrate cultural difference within our organization and for the panel of appointed attorneys.
  • Develop quantifiable objectives to measure progress toward our diversity, inclusion, and equity goals.
  • Share resources with other legal organizations committed to diversity and inclusion.
  • Present trainings on diversity, inclusion, and equity, and provide information and resources to staff and to the panel of appointed attorneys.
  • Implement systems—including training on equitable practices—for eliminating bias in the recruitment of board members and the recruitment, hiring, promotion, evaluation, and retention of staff and the panel of appointed attorneys.
  • Identify those policies and practices within the legal system which reinforce historic inequities and advocate—in our case and panel work, and in seeking policy and legislative change—for outcomes that redress such inequities.
  • Include a salary range with all public job descriptions.

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