TMCnet News

[March 06, 2024]


AUSTIN, Texas, March 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationwide employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. is pleased to announce Michael D. Thomas will be moderating the panel "Navigating DEI Initiatives in 2024 and Beyond" at the 2024 South By Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference on March 11 at 4 p.m. CT. The session will focus on advancing workplace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and the importance of inclusive leadership among employers.

"I am thrilled to join the conversation this year at SXSW," said Michael. "Our session will discuss actionable tactics businesses can use to advance their DEI initiatives to elevate both their organizations and their people. SXSW is one of the most influential conferences in the world, and I look forward to engaging with my co-panelists and the talented individuals who will be attending."

Michael will moderate the panel with Roberto Concepción, Jr. of Heart Communications Inc., Y-Vonne Hutchinson of ReadySet and Aisha Jorge Massengill of Sonos. Together they will discuss ways employers can collaborate on strategies to promote workplace DEI while mitigating risk, leveraging technology, forecasting future diversity, fostering a psychologically safe team, and tackling racial and ethnic disparities among diverse employees.

Michael is a principal in the firm's Orange County, California, office and a co-leader of the firm's Corporate Diversity Counseling group. Understanding that clients are facing increasing calls from internal and external stakeholders to proactively address DEI and environmental, social and governance across their business. Michael works with clients to balance today's complex web of decisions, laws and interests with varying legal, reputational and litigation risk with the often-competing demands for greater transparency. He assists clients in developing and implementing goal-driven, legally compliantDEI initiatives using current best practices, neuroscience, adult learning, experiential learning, dialogue, body awareness and mindfulness. Michael provides DEI workplace training on topics including unconscious bias and microaggression, as well as psychological safety and inclusive leadership. 

Michael's training includes a Diversity and Inclusion Certification from Cornell University and a yoga certification from the Niroga Institute in Berkeley where he studied yoga, mindfulness, and meditation, which he leverages to motivate employers to create workplaces where both employees and businesses thrive in unison. He earned his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley; his J.D. from Boston College Law School; and his B.A. from Bucknell University.

"Michael and his esteemed panelists have prepared a presentation that includes something for every audience member to take back to their workplace and beyond," said New York City Office Managing Principal Douglas J. Klein, who played a pivotal role in initially championing Jackson Lewis' SXSW participation. "The combination of legal and non-legal business perspectives on what exactly workplace inclusion and psychological safety look like in 2024 make the session culturally and professionally relevant to essentially any member of the workforce."

"We are excited that the firm is taking part in this unique and impactful event for the first time," said Austin Office Managing Principal Mitchell F. Boomer and Lauren Hope Whiting in a joint statement. "While our client base spans a wide spectrum, this opportunity allows the firm to discuss valuable DEI insights with businesses both locally and globally. It underscores the paramount importance of DEI initiatives, which are indispensable for the success and resilience of every employer, regardless of their industry or size."

More information about the session can be found here.

About Jackson Lewis
Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.'s 1,000+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee.

Additional information about the firm can be found at

About SXSW
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film and television, music, education and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music, and comedy showcases, film and television screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2024 will take place March 8–16 in Austin. Learn more at To register for the event, please visit

Jackson Lewis P.C. offices that are responsible for the content of this advertisement include New York, NY; Hartford, CT; New Orleans, LA; and Orlando, FL. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

For more information, please contact:
Lara Hamm, Chief Communications Officer
T: (267) 319-7803 / E: [email protected]

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