Portraits of five Florida diversity and inclusion “legends” have started their journey throughout Florida’s courthouses and schools. The original portraits by aspiring college art school students from Florida will be displayed in the Florida Supreme Court during its entire spring term (Jan-March 2022), and then moved to the Florida Bar Headquarters in Tallahassee, where they will hang in permanent residence where decisions about attorneys are made.
The Path to Unity program is the largest and most ambitious project ever undertaken by The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Diversity & Inclusion (SCDI) which, in turn, is the largest single Committee within the Florida Bar’s nearly 110,000 members. The program identified “legends” representing the voices of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability, the first five categories in the SCDI’s Mission Statement.
IADC member Larry D. Smith, Of Counsel with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A., is one of the five lawyers recognized and honored.
Larry D. Smith since joining the Bar in 1984 has made numerous civic and community contributions. He has advocated consistently for the LGBTQ community including helping persuade Orlando to amend its human rights ordinance to prohibit workplace, housing, and public discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Similar successful efforts followed with the Orange County Board of Education, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Orange County Commission.
Smith helped organized the Central Florida Gay and Lesbian Law Association, the first LGBTQ voluntary bar association outside of South Florida and is a past president. In 2013, he received the Diversity Leadership Award from the ABA Section of Litigation and in 2016 then Bar President Ramón Abadin recognized Smith with the Bar’s G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award. The latter came just days after the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando and Smith’s poignant acceptance remarks produced a standing ovation at the Annual Convention General Assembly. He is also a past recipient of the Young Lawyers Division Diversity Award, the Litigation Counsel of America and Diversity Law Institute Diversity Award, and the Defense Research Sheryl J. Wilbert Pioneer Diversity Award. Smith has also written and spoken extensively about diversity issues.
The program continues its yearlong journey throughout Florida with stops in Courthouses and schools in Jacksonville, Deland, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Ft. Meyers, Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Lakeland, Gainesville, Pensacola, Panama City, St. Augustine, St. Lucie, and, finally, Tallahassee.
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