Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Chief Diversity Officer Timothy J. Downing has been recognized by The National Law Journal (NLJ) in its inaugural Equality Trailblazers list. This new list highlights the accomplishments of those who have made significant strides in the fight for gender and LGBTQ equality.
“I am especially honored to receive this recognition from The National Law Journal at a time in history when the principal of equality for all is under assault on a daily basis,” said Downing. “Now more than ever, it is important for those of us who have been in the trenches on this issue to never be afraid to speak truth to power.”
As a nationally recognized litigator and longtime champion of diversity and inclusion, Downing serves in dual roles at the firm – as a fierce advocate for clients and as Chief Diversity Officer. In his legal practice, he focuses on complex business and employment and labor litigation, helping companies resolve conflicts with their employees and implement strategic policies to attract the best and brightest professionals. In his role as Chief Diversity Officer, he supports Ulmer’s successful diversity and inclusion initiatives while working to increase the firm’s internal and external diversity programming and community involvement.
Throughout his career, Downing has worked at all levels to promote diversity and LGBTQ equality. He was a founding member and former president of Ohioans for Growth and Equality, Ohio’s first statewide LGBTQ organization, where he helped fight against laws that refused to recognize marriage equality. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, working to develop educational programs for schools and companies on diversity and inclusion best practices to combat implicit bias.
He has been actively involved with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) since he became a member of the organization in 1987, and served on the Steering Committee to found HRC’s Cleveland chapter in 1993. He went on to join HRC’s Board of Governors and was elected to its national Board of Directors, where he served for more than 10 years and later co-chaired. He presently serves as Co-Chair of HRC’s Emeritus Council, which works to reengage Board of Directors alumni and encourage financial support for HRC’s mission of fighting for LGBTQ equality.
Last February, Downing was also appointed to the first Human Rights Commission of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Serving as one of three attorneys on the Commission, Downing helps resolve discrimination complaints and stop discriminatory practices in the Greater Cleveland Area.