By: Genesis Hernandez
FLASH (Force of Lawyers Against Sexual Harassment) is a task force of Illinois legal professionals united to study and make recommendations to and to combat the prevalence of sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the Illinois legal community through direct advocacy, policy implementation, education and peer support.
Mission: We aim to research and provide guidance on preventing sexism, sexism-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault for Illinois lawyers through education and enactment of legislation to combat these issues.
Vision: To create and foster a safe, respectful and intersectional professional environment for all Illinois legal professionals that adopts a zero-tolerance approach to sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Think of FLASH as a resource and community for your professional awareness and personal knowledge regarding the movement against sexual violence in our career field. We are eager to present CLEs and meet with your firm or bar associations to present our research and insight to further our cause against these very real but unacceptable behaviors and work cultures.
I am a young, first-generation, and cis woman in her first year of practice. While Latina lawyers make up 2% of the lawyers nationwide, the lack of representation and cultural barriers can place me in a seemingly vulnerable state. However, I am empowered by my fellow board members in FLASH and my community in HLAI (Serving the Hispanic Lawyers of Illinois) that have educated and guided me throughout my legal journey. I hope to give back and practice educating other attorneys, specifically with the issues of sexism, sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault in our profession. If you would like to get involved with our task force or learn more, please visit us at flashillinois.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published in the WBAI Spring 2023 Newsletter on page 23.