Eliminating Bias and Enhancing Diversity Permeates Everything the ABA Does

Jack L. Rives (far left), Executive Director of the ABA, and Alberto Mora (center), Associate Executive Director, Global Programs Rule of Law Initiative and Center for Human Rights, and Jeffrey Borns (far right), ABA ROLI Deputy Director, pose with the selected candidates for the 2018 ROLDI program.

From left to right: Devin Fairrow, Alexandra Horn, Abril Perez, Britney Carattini, Cristina Rodriguez, and Whynter Morgan.

By Jack Rives
Executive Director, The American Bar Association

Advancing the rule of law abroad remains a critical element of American foreign assistance and it is integral to efforts of the American Bar Association through our Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI).  ABA ROLI has been promoting justice, economic opportunity, and human dignity through the rule of law for almost 30 years around the world, with programs in more than 100 countries through the years. ABA ROLI is currently working on more than 50 programs in Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe and Eurasia; Latin America and the Caribbean; and the Middle East and North Africa. The ABA is proud to participate in efforts to strengthen governance and the justice sector, improve human rights and access to justice, mitigate conflict, and ensure inclusive and sustainable development around the globe.

Consistent with the ABA’s Goal III, which seeks to eliminate bias and enhance diversity, ABA ROLI launched the Rule of Law Diversity Internship (ROLDI) program. I recently welcomed the initial class of Jones Day interns for the summer of 2018. ROLDI is an initiative to diversify the workforce engaged in international democracy assistance and rule of law development by offering summer internships to students from historically unrepresented populations — including racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQI individuals, and persons with disabilities. Diversity is an issue of significant importance to the ABA. Goal III permeates everything we do as an Association.

I applaud ROLDI’s interns for their commitment to the rule of law around the world. They exemplify how the ABA does more than help its members be successful lawyers. We assist countless people, here in America and abroad, secure access to justice.