On Thursday, Dec. 6, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City hosted its Annual Difference Maker Awards Day Luncheon and recognized Husch Blackwell Chairman Maurice Watson and the firm for demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“At Husch Blackwell, we are not satisfied with the status quo,” Watson said. “Setting a high standard of diversity and inclusiveness allows us to identify and maximize each unique individual’s full potential, removing barriers to personal achievement and making us a stronger firm, better able to understand our clients’ needs.”
A community-based, not-for-profit organization, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City strives to achieve equality and promote socioeconomic opportunity to improve the quality of life for African-Americans and others. Its annual luncheon serves as an opportunity to celebrate progress and honor individuals who positively impact the Kansas City area.
Husch Blackwell strives to promote diversity by recruiting, developing, retaining and promoting talented attorneys and staff with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Efforts to promote diversity and equality extend outside of the firm as well: Husch Blackwell supports scholarship programs that assist minority law students at various Missouri and Kansas law schools; attorneys and staff play key leadership roles for the Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair in Kansas City, Mo., and the St. Louis Diversity Job Fair. Husch Blackwell also co-hosted a recent Kansas City diversity forum.
Husch Blackwell consistently receives high ratings in the annual Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, and Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers named the firm to the 2012 “50 Best Law Firms for Women” list.
Watson became Chairman of Husch Blackwell on April 1, 2012, making it the largest law firm in the country with an African-American Chairman. A local leader, Watson works extensively in the legal, business and philanthropic communities and has dedicated his career to representing public school districts, private schools, institutions of higher education and national education associations. He also represents the interests of children’s hospitals in Washington, D.C., on legislative matters. In May, Watson received the 2012 Nonprofit Connect Volunteer of the Year Award for positively impacting the community through sustained and wide-ranging volunteer service. Among his local involvement, he sits on the Board of Directors for the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan Community College Foundation, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Children's Mercy Hospital Foundation, the Kansas City Art Institute and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute.