New York, NY, August 16, 2017 – This morning, Gary Wingens, Chairman and Managing Partner of Lowenstein Sandler, issued the following statement to all of the firm's employees:
From: Wingens, Gary M.
Date: August 16, 2017 at 8:30:10 AM EDT
To: All Lowenstein Employees
Subject: Charlottesville and its aftermath
Dear Colleagues- Alan Lowenstein established this firm on the foundation of his strongly-held belief in equality and social justice. I know that events of the past few days have been deeply emotional and hurtful to many of our colleagues. They are to me as well.
When my mother was 13 years old she returned home from a friend's birthday party to a mob ransacking her family home. The date was November 9, 1938 (Kristallnacht), and her house was in a little twelfth century village in the countryside north of Frankfurt, Germany. Hers was the only Jewish family living in that village and her family had made their home there for hundreds of years. Six and a half years later, after seeing many of her extended family murdered, my mother was liberated from a concentration camp and, with my father, emigrated to the United States. Were they still alive, the events of this past weekend in Charlottesville and of yesterday afternoon in Trump Tower would have been devastating to them.
Whether you are the descendant of immigrants who came to this country to escape persecution or to seek a better life, the descendant of slaves, a native American, or an immigrant yourself, we can all agree that the United States is at its best when we treat everyone with respect and dignity regardless of race, religion, nation of origin, gender or sexual orientation. We know that we are made better as a firm when we welcome and include colleagues of diverse backgrounds. There is no place in this firm, our communities or this country for white supremacists or leaders who do not unequivocally name them and call them out.
As a firm, we remain committed to Alan's founding principles of equality. We take great pride in the work we do through the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest to protect the rights of the most vulnerable amongst us, in particular the pro bono work we are doing to protect civil rights and the support that many of us provide to institutions that share these goals. In the face of those who give voice to divisiveness and hate, please join me in redoubling our efforts to create an even more inclusive and equal workplace and society.
Gary M. Wingens Chairman and Managing Partner
Lowenstein Sandler LLP