Diversity, Inclusion, and the Constitution
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In its rave review of the hit Broadway play What the Constitution Means to Me (WCMM), The New York Times declares that the play is “an act of civic engagement.” But WCMM’s impact and engagement extend well beyond the stage. On June 24, 2019, WCMM writer and star Heidi Schreck, and teen WCMM actor Thursday Williams, will Emcee an event at the Manhattan offices of international law firm Reed Smith titled Diversity, Inclusion, and the Constitution. The event will support the expansion of Legal Outreach, a New York City nonprofit that prepares urban youth for civic engagement and college success through debates, mock trials, and academic support.
WCMM writer and star Heidi Schreck wrote the play based upon her life experiences, including debating constitutional issues as a teen. Event co-emcee and WCMM actor Thursday Williams is actually a fourth-year participant in the Legal Outreach program. In the play, Thursday debates different amendments with Heidi, and together they gradually trace the profound impact of the Constitution on women’s bodies. Thursday, who has attributed her confidence and knowledge of the Constitution to Legal Outreach in a Vox article and on The Sandi Klein Show, had the following to say. “I love the Constitution because of three things: I am a minority-the color of my skin is dark-I am an immigrant, and I am a woman, and this document provides me with protections. . .Legal Outreach’s Summer Law Institute and Constitutional Law Debate Program prepared me to assume the role of debater in the play What the Constitution Means to Me. They enhanced my knowledge and sparked my interest in public speaking.”
The Diversity, Inclusion and the Constitution event promises to be a powerful evening standing for the idea that our constitutional democracy is at its best when it includes equally the voices of women and minorities, and when it recognizes that we are a nation of immigrants, made strong by the diversity that immigration has produced. Thursday, for example, was born in Jamaica. And event honoree Shimon Shkury, President of real estate firm Ariel Property Advisors is an immigrant from Israel who has done well, and has dedicated himself to doing good by giving back to the next generation. Moreover, event honoree Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, and partner at the international law firm Paul Weiss, is known for his fair and equitable defense of the Constitution, and is often now in the press stating the need for a bi-partisan approach to address the challenges of immigration at its source as a humanitarian issue of poverty. The event will also include the honoring of a special guest who will be revealed that evening. This guest honoree is known to be a strong supporter of the Constitution and immigrant rights.
There is no more powerful and salient issue than Diversity, Inclusion and the Constitution. June 24 will be night of positivity and hope as we address an issue that will remain important for years to come.
To learn more about the Diversity, Inclusion and the Constitution event, click here.
To learn more about Legal Outreach, please click here.
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