MoveMakers & NewsMakers for May 9, 2023
See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."
On March 31, members of the Association of Corporate Counsel St. Louis (ACC STL) had a unique learning experience at the Saint Louis Art Museum. They participated in the “Artful Observation with a Diversity Lens” program, which aims to help participants develop their awareness of issues related to attentiveness, empathy, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The project is spearheaded by the Saint Louis University (SLU) Art History Program.
The facilitator, Dr. Cathleen Fleck, chair of the SLU Department of Fine and Performing Arts and associate professor of art history, used artful observation techniques to enhance bias and observational awareness and facilitate conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Art served as the catalyst to encourage conversations among the 20 members who attended.
“The artful observation session that I planned with the ACC at the Saint Louis Art Museum was meant to use art as a tool to engage the group and reinforce two key ideas about observation and about diversity and equity in society. First, I asked the participants to explain what they were seeing, breaking down that process of seeing as a physical act informed by our social and cultural circumstances. The attorneys quickly absorbed the main point that one’s own way to see is not the only way. Second, we concentrated on how certain artworks can reveal systems of discrimination and exclusion based on race, class, and gender that have long existed in our society,” said Fleck. “We discussed artworks by underrepresented identities in the museum – particularly women, African American, and Native American artists – as signs of resistance, repression, strife, pride, and triumph over such challenges,” added Fleck.
Lisa Savoy, legal counsel with Experian and chair of the 2023 ACC STL Social Justice Coalition, said that the membership values the diversity programming that the ACC STL hosts and tends to have great turnout for events. The Artful Observation CLE program was especially popular because Dr. Fleck presented diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) material from an artist’s perspective, which included a discussion of the moment in time and history, the individual artist’s training, and other aspects of the artist’s background, and the significance of the medium used for the artist’s particular vision.
“I honestly took away from this program a greater appreciation for the artist behind the art as well as a new appreciation for the different layers of a particular piece. I never really thought about the struggles that some artists had based on gender, race, or culture, and the fact that we have such well-known diverse artists at the Saint Louis Art Museum is significant,” said Savoy.
The program was limited to 20 spots and was so popular among members that there was a waitlist of members who wanted to attend.
Longtime practicing Missouri attorney Herb Kohn announces the formation of Herb Kohn Mediation LLC, where he will focus on reaching agreement for disputants in business and commercial matters. He was most recently a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, practicing corporate business and banking law.
Kohn said of his new practice, “I realized that so much of my career has involved bringing people together. So, I thought, ‘Why not make that the priority?’"
Kohn is the 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Michigan Law School. Upon awarding Kohn its highest alumni honor, Michigan Law called him a “titan of the Missouri legal community” and the “kind of person the law school believes in, someone who is dedicated to the law and held in such high esteem by his peers.”
Kohn was also the 2019 recipient of the Henry Bloch Human Relations Award for his lifelong commitment to human rights. He is past director and stalwart supporter of Missouri Boys State and the only living supporter to have a Boys State city named for him, Kohn City.
Kohn is past chair of the Missouri Gaming Commission and past chair of the task force studying Kansas City pension plans. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Truman Presidential Library Institute, a member of the finance committee of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and past chair of the board of trustees of the Kansas City Art Institute.
More recently, in travels around the world, Kohn has developed into an accomplished photographer. Always an astute and sensitive observer of the human condition, he taught himself to use cameras to capture the images and emotions of people and places he’s been privileged to witness. Beyond just a hobby, his work has been exhibited in numerous shows and galleries, including the Truman Library and the Truman Medical Center.