Blair Carral Carter Appointed to Colorado Diverse Attorneys Community Circle
Blair Carral Carter has been named to the 2023 Colorado Diverse Attorney Community Circle (CODACC) to build diversity in the legal profession. The group engages in a variety of cultural and team-building exercises throughout the year to increase networking and leadership among the state’s diverse attorneys.
The mission of CODACC is to bring about leadership within Colorado’s diverse legal community. For Blair, it’s a chance to follow in her Cuban-American mother’s footsteps as a community leader.
“When I was growing up in Tampa, Florida, my mother took a large leadership role within our city’s Chamber of Commerce. She was a key member of the Hispanic Heritage Committee and was appointed by the mayor to other committees that served the community at large, with a focus on the Hispanic population. I have clear memories as a child of watching my mother present at Spanish speaking events to large audiences of Hispanic leaders encouraging greater recognition of the accomplishments of Hispanic women in Florida’s history and talking about ways they can and should create more opportunities for our community, especially children,” Blair said of her mother. “I’m not fooling myself thinking I will have as large of an impact. My mom was a force of nature. However, my acceptance into CODACC does make me feel like I’m following in her footsteps in some way, making sure we are supporting each other in ways we can, and that we are sensitive to the challenges others face. Both of my parents worked extremely hard to provide me with a great education and an awareness that many are without. CODACC presents an important opportunity for me to keep the ball moving in the right direction.”
Every year, CODACC trains a new group of attorneys in racial justice, DE&I, and how to present DEI-related issues to their circles of influence. The attorneys work with CODACC leaders to create an individual development plan addressing personal and professional opportunities, business development, networking, and community engagement and involvement. The program also promotes mentorship among diverse attorneys, as well as open doors for them to take more leadership positions in their workplaces.
Blair said she was hooked after her first meeting, where she learned about key Black figures in Colorado’s history, showcased at the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center in Denver. “Just in that one meeting, I learned that the first female millionaire in the United States in 1912 was a black woman, Madam CJ Walker. The obstacles for women back in that time, especially Black women, that Madam Walker overcame were immense. Her story is an inspiration to all and one that I have shared with my children since. I also learned that, despite Hollywood’s depiction of the American west, Black cowboys were common. There were thousands of Black men who wrangled livestock and hundreds of Black ranching families, which included several notable Black women. I listened to one of the CODACC leaders, an accomplished Denver Hispanic criminal defense lawyer, recall multiple instances of being mistaken for a criminal defendant or a Spanish interpreter when she walked into the courtroom, regardless of her professional attire. For so many reasons, I know that it is my job to retell these stories again and again in a way that will resonate with other attorneys in our community and affect change,” Blair said.
Involvement in CODACC means attending regular networking and affinity events and retreats, public service opportunities, bimonthly DE&I clinics and activities, mentoring pods. All events focus on fostering business development networking skills. Blair intends to take what she learns from these discussions and networking events and contribute to Sherman & Howard’s efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“I want to be a catalyst for change. I want to help Sherman & Howard evolve in different ways and meaningfully contribute to their efforts to increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the firm. This will make me a better leader at my firm and in the larger legal community,” she said.
Blair joined Sherman & Howard in 2022. She specializes in government contracts, construction, aerospace, and civil and commercial litigation. She is a fifth-generation military veteran, third-generation lawyer, and second-generation Cuban American. She is not only a certified navy nuclear engineer, but she has a master’s degree in engineering management in addition to her Juris Doctor.
CODACC is made possible by a grant from the Colorado Bar Association and various sponsorships. Sherman & Howard provides Blair’s tuition to attend the program. The firm is committed to building diversity among its staff and attorneys. Sherman & Howard is a charter member of the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Legal Group, which is made up of five Denver law firms with the goal of increasing diversity within the legal community.