The HSE Diversity Committee is a standing committee of the firm. The mission of the Committee is to help the firm achieve and maintain a level of diversity that reflects the demographics of the communities we serve, while at the same time fostering an inclusive environment of appreciation and respect. In furtherance of its mission, the Committee plans and implements firm-wide education, training and social activities, recommends and conducts compulsory diversity training programs, and acts as a resource for the firm. In addition, the Diversity Committee disseminates a community calendar of multicultural events and assists with recruiting and retention initiatives. Listed below are some of the most recent activities of the Diversity Committee.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay Contest. In 2017, the firm sponsored the 7th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Student Essay Contest in the Rochester City School District. Open to Rochester City School District students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, 18 classrooms participated in the contest, with a total of 76 essays submitted. The theme of this year’s essay contest was: Discuss someone who is helping Dr. King’s “Dream” come true and how. The winners at each grade level, selected by HSE attorneys and staff, were announced in their classrooms on January 12 and January 13. Winning students were awarded a special personal prize and a $50 gift card, and teachers were given a $200 gift card to be used for school supplies. In addition, each winning student’s classroom received $75 gift cards for a pizza party. Additional pizza parties were raffled off for all participating classes - one for each grade level - and a Certificate of Appreciation was given to each participating class.
Family Movie Night. The firm held its second annual movie night with a screening of an animated children’s movie designed to teach why it’s important to get to know those that appear different. This event was attended by 75 firm employees and their children.
Stand Against Racism. HSE has participated in the YMCA’s “Stand Against Racism” for the past several years. The goal of the Stand is to eliminate racism by raising awareness and encouraging conversation about the causes of racism. On April 24, 2015, HSE held a screening of Rescue In The Philippines: Refuge From The Holocaust, a documentary that details a plan by Manuel Quezon, the first elected President of the Philippines; then-Col Dwight Eisenhower, an aide to Gen Douglas MacArthur; Paul McNutt, the U.S. High Commissioner for the Philippines; and the Frieder Brothers of Cincinnati, who owned cigar factories in the Philippines, to use the Philippines quasi-independent status to deliver over 1,300 Jews from Nazi Germany.
Spread the Word to End the Word. The firm joined Daystar for Medically Fragile Infants, the Golisano Foundation, and Special Olympics International to “Spread the Word to End the Word”—a program to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed).”
Buffalo Office. Employees served food to underprivileged members of the Buffalo community at Buffalo’s Central Café.
Thomas M. Tuori, Diversity Committee Co-Chair
Mary Ellen O’Dell Schantz
Jesse St. Cyr