In this week’s edition of P.S., we have information on a special screening highlighting pro bono work by Akin with Syrian refugees that will support earthquake relief in Turkey and Syria, an upcoming silent auction benefitting a nonprofit treatment center for women in Dallas struggling with substance abuse and a Houston firm’s selection of two associates to participate in a prestigious diversity leadership development program.
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The Latest Charitable Happenings
— On April 4, Akin will host a screening event at the Violet Crown Cinema in Dallas for the HBO documentary Simple as Water along with the City of Dallas and a number of Southern Methodist University-affiliated organizations and colleges: the Bush Institute, Dedman School of Law, Lyle School of Engineering, Human Rights Program and the Muslim Students Association.
The filmmakers are sharing Simple as Water on a national tour to support earthquake relief in Turkey and Syria and to foster a welcoming culture for refugees.
The 2021 documentary features two Akin clients, Syrian refugees Omar and Abed Sabha, two brothers who now live in Houston, as well as their lawyer, pro bono partner Steven Schulman, who is based in the firm’s Dallas office and heads Akin’s pro bono practice. He has been representing the Sabha brothers in their U.S. asylum petitions. Abed Sabha is currently a student at Houston Community College while Omar Sabha works in quality assurance for Comcast and helps other refugees find tech jobs. They fled Syria to escape the war and came to the U.S. for medical treatment after Abed, 8 years old at the time, lost his leg in a bombing attack.
The film was directed by Oscar-winning director Megan Mylan, who grew up in Dallas and graduated from Highland Park High School. Her father was a law professor at SMU Dedman. After the screening, there will be a post-screening panel discussion with Mylan, Schulman and the Sabha brothers. It will be moderated by James Faust, the artistic director of the Dallas International Film Festival.
— On April 27, Attorneys Serving the Community is hosting a silent auction for its current nonprofit partner, Nexus Recovery Center. Nexus provides residential substance abuse treatment to women and adolescent girls in the Dallas area, and it allows for children to stay with their mothers during treatment, erasing the childcare conundrum that often inhibits women from seeking treatment. Net proceeds from sponsorships and the auction will go directly to Nexus.
The Parisian-themed silent auction will take place from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Beehive in Dallas’ Design District.
Sponsors for the event so far include Petty & Associates, Thompson Coburn, Fidelity Investments, Consilio, Capital Financial Architects, Bluecrest Financial Services and the DeLorge-Flippen family.
The main course on the silent auction’s menu is a one-week stay in an apartment in Paris. Other auction items on the roster so far include a three-night stay at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego; Texas Rangers, Astros and Dallas Mavericks tickets; reservations at the Sky Ranch Summer Camp; original artwork from Jenny Grumbles, Sal Martinez, Carolyn Joe Daniels, Roma Osowo, Danna Gann and Melissa Ellis; food offerings, including STK Steakhouse’s chef’s tasting and Ruthie’s Food Truck party; and fashion/jewelry from BuDhaGirl, Vita Isola, Monica Vinader, Gorjana and more.
Co-chairs of the event are Celeste Flippen and Neena Wiora. Flippen is a retired lawyer and client management director from Consilio. Earlier in her career, Flippen spent nearly two decades at JCPenney, and was a vice president and associate general counsel for the retailer when she left in 2009. Wiora is a shareholder at Gupta & Wiora in Dallas and focuses her practice on employment-related immigration matters. Earlier in her career, she was a trial attorney for the tax division of the Department of Justice.
ASC’s current lead chair this year Maeghan Whitehead, counsel at Kilpatrick Townsend, and its co-chair is Jennifer Klein Ayers, a partner at Sheppard Mullin.
Registration for the event is free. To register: https://aesbid.com/ELP/ASC/Tickets
— Porter Hedges has selected associates Emily Pendleton and Daisy Puente as members of the 2023 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinder Program. Founded in 2009, LCLD is a growing organization of more than 400 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are personally committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. LCLD developed its Pathfinder Program to identify, train and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession. The seven-month program trains diverse, high-performing, early-career attorneys on foundational leadership and relationship building.
Pendleton’s practice focuses on complex construction litigation, including lien and bond claims, project delay and disruption claims, change order disputes, issues of default and construction defect claims. She also helps clients analyze risk connected to construction transactions. A 2017 graduate of South Texas College of Law Houston, Pendleton serves on Porter Hedges’ recruiting committee.
Puente represents borrowers and lenders in commercial financings, including working capital facilities, syndicated credit facilities, letters of credit, acquisition financings, franchise financings and more. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and is a previous judicial intern for U.S. District Judge George Hanks, Jr. in the Southern District of Texas and Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.