Our Commitment to Diversity
We are committed to the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of a diverse staff. We strive to create an inclusive environment that provides all employees an opportunity to advance their careers successfully. We believe that our staff should reflect the community we serve which in turn results in a stronger office and one that pursues and projects fair-mindedness to all those coming in contact with the criminal justice system. New York City is enriched by its diverse population, and by embracing its diversity we strengthen our ability to carry out the mission of our Office.
With the help of our Equity and Social Justice Advisory Board, our Office crafted an anti-racism statement. This statement allows us to memorialize our values and expectations as we strive to move justice forward with the conscious goal of achieving racial justice in our community and eradicating systemic racism. To this end, the statement will be included in our employee handbooks, new hire packets, and training programs.
Our Legal Staff
Our Assistant District Attorneys are some of the best and most talented attorneys in the United States, who come to One Hogan Place with diverse backgrounds and experiences. More than half of our attorneys are women, and members of the District Attorney’s Executive and supervisory staff throughout the Office are diverse in background and affinity.
Equity and Social Justice Board
Our Equity and Social Justice Board, composed of attorneys and support staff from across the office, makes policy recommendations directly to D.A. Vance and our Executive Team. The Board, which is the first of its kind in a U.S. prosecutor’s office, comprises 16 members from diverse backgrounds, and is co-chaired by Audrey Moore, First Assistant District Attorney and Chief Diversity Officer, and José A. Fanjul, Executive Assistant District Attorney for Prosecution Policies.
D.A. Vance announced the creation of the Board in June 2020 amid ongoing demonstrations against systemic racism, police violence, and the killing of George Floyd.
The Board’s mission is to make recommendations to the D.A. and Executive Staff on all D.A.’s Office policies and practices that implicate equity and social justice for New Yorkers. The Board also makes recommendations to enhance internal communications related to such policies, and actively solicits input from internal stakeholders in the course of policy development.
The Board currently has five subcommittees:
• Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion
• Developing an Anti-Racism Statement
• The Use of Conviction History in Prosecution Policies
• Police Misconduct, Excessive Force and Transparency
• Prosecution Policies for Commercial Burglaries Occurring on or about May 31 and June 1, 2020
Our Diversity Committee, composed of attorneys and support staff from all divisions in the Office, focuses on issues related to the recruiting, hiring, and retention of Assistant District Attorneys and support staff. Its mission is to develop creative approaches to enhance our applicant pool and ensure that our Office maintains a culture of diversity.
In addition, the Diversity Committee fosters an open dialogue within the office, and provides guidance and feedback to the District Attorney and his Executive Staff. The Committee hosts a variety of diversity events throughout the year, including office-wide celebrations of heritage events, presentations by guest speakers, and inclusion events for staff and summer interns. Additionally, legal members participate in many other diversity initiatives, such as overseeing the office’s Mentoring Program, facilitating outreach to law school organizations and affinity groups, and developing relationships with pipeline programs at the high school and college levels.
Our office strives to pursue and project fair-mindedness to all those coming in contact with the criminal justice system in order to promote justice and serve our community. We hope that our Diversity Committee will continue to encourage awareness, engagement, and inspire a diverse perspective. As we continue to build on our past successes, we are proud that so many people in this office are dedicated to our mission.
The Office’s Mentoring Program is designed to create a support network that will enable our newly-hired Assistants to develop professionally and succeed in their careers in the Office. Mentors, who are assigned to all newly-hired Assistants, build relationships with their mentees to foster a fulfilling work environment by offering guidance and advice as the Assistants begin their careers in our Office. Assistant District Attorneys who volunteer and are chosen to serve as members are often more senior members of the legal staff who also serve on the Diversity Committee and Legal Hiring Boards. The Committee also encourages our legal staff to engage in informal mentoring to enhance the professional development of our junior attorneys and summer interns.
The Diversity Committee has hosted a number of dynamic and engaging speakers for our Heritage Month Celebrations. Past speakers have included Loretta Lynch, the former Attorney General of the United States, writer and activist Gloria Steinem, Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and Jennifer Finney Boylan, professor and author, at our first Transgender Awareness Month event. Most recently we welcomed Jeffery Robinson the deputy legal director and the director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality, which houses the organization’s work on criminal justice, racial justice, and reform issues, Congresswoman Grace Meng, NYC Firefighter Georgia Brooke Guinan, the first and only transgender firefighter in the history of the FDNY, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, NYC Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza, and in recognition of Veterans Month, Sgt. Jake Wood CEO and Co-Founder of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit organization that uses the skills of veterans to rapidly deploy as emergency responders to disasters.
The office sponsors inclusion events and luncheons for our summer interns and newly appointed Assistant District Attorneys. Our hope is that these events will allow our summer interns and first-year ADAs to meet our diverse staff and facilitate additional mentoring relationships.