Greetings from the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys (“MBWA”)

MBWA is committed to the professional development and advancement of Massachusetts African American and black women lawyers
throughout the state and aims to provide quality programming that meets that goal.


Welcome to the Massachusetts Black Women Attorney’s website.  We appreciate you taking the time to visit and learn more about who we are and what we are doing.

MBWA’s 2017-2018 program year is well underway.  In September, we kicked off the year with our annual swearing-in ceremony, which was presided over by Justice Kimberly S. Budd of the Supreme Judicial Court.  In October, we held the Dispelling the Myth of the Angry Black Woman – Part II panel discussion and hosted our annual Membership Brunch.  The participation and engagement of our members and friends have been amazing as we continue to do great things during our 36th year of existence.  Please periodically check our website to learn about upcoming programs and activities.

Despite the efforts of a few to denounce the excellence of black women attorneys (who represent various ethnicities, cultures and shades) and to derail our accomplishments, MBWA is stronger than ever and here to stay!   Join us as we continue to push for our collective voices to be heard, and needs and concerns to be addressed.  Please consider joining or take the time now to renew your membership and get more involved by joining a committee.

We hope you will visit our site again and again.  In the meantime, please feel free to email any comments, ideas or suggestions you may have about how our association can best serve our community to  We hope to see you soon at one of our upcoming programs or events.

Warm regards,

Deborah L. Johnson

We are very excited to continue our work as we offer new and annual programs and events this coming year.


The Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys (MBWA) is a professional bar association committed to the advancement of justice and equality for people of color with a particular emphasis on black women and/or women of African descent. The MBWA seeks to eradicate sexism and racism in the legal profession, advance equal employment opportunities and provide its members a network to build, develop, and support their careers.

The organization offers its members a forum to share knowledge and experiences as well as focus on issues of importance to the membership and the community. The MBWA promotes pro bono activities, community activism, and the successful balance of family and career obligations.

Our History

In 1981, a group of 14 African-American female attorneys, originally named the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys Organizing Committee, gathered to form a professional bar association to address their unique struggles as women of color in the legal profession. The Committee compiled the first known comprehensive listing of African-American female practitioners in the Commonwealth. In May of 1981, the Committee sponsored a Spring Brunch to introduce the idea of forming an organization for women of color. This working meeting was attended by a diverse group of African-American female attorneys from around the Commonwealth. The idea received overwhelming enthusiasm and support, and discussion ensued concerning the organization’s mission.

Thereafter the Committee formed the Ida B. Wells Barnett Law Society which later became the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys. The organization dedicated to the memory of Ida B. Wells Barnett.

Our Mission

Since 1981, the MBWA has sought to preserve and advance justice for all people.

Its mission is to assist in ensuring the fair and even-handed striation of justice, particularly as applied to women of color. The MBWA is similarly concerned with social policy and civil rights issues in the greater minority community.

The organization also seeks to promote legal education by sponsoring educational seminars, lecture series and panel discussions on subjects that affect its members.

The Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys serves as a useful resource by aiding African-American women attorneys to become more effective advocates and a direct link to our communities.


Deborah L. Johnson


Tinia L. Snow


Shahria H. Boston


Patrice C. Dixon


Francesse Canty
Board Member


Janette A. Ekanem
Board Member


Keidi S. Carrington
Board Member


Tiffanie Ellis-Niles
Board Member


Martsyl Joseph
Board Member


Jasmine Jean-Louis
Board Member


Desiree Murphy
Board Member


Chayla White
Board Member


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


©2018 Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys


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