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.
As we begin a new program year, we proudly reflect upon what we accomplished this past year, including our panel discussion on “Knowing Your Worth,” our first annual Holiday Gift Card Drive, our roundtable discussion about the state of affairs for Massachusetts black women attorneys, and our 35th Anniversary Celebration and Ida B. Wells Award Afternoon Tea (click here for photos from the celebration).
We have been actively involved in discussions with leaders in government,
law firms, and law schools about the importance of racial, ethnic, cultural,
and gender diversity in the legal profession, and we will continue to be strong advocates in this endeavor.
We invite you to explore our website to learn more about us and to visit it often as we post job announcements, upcoming programs, activities and events, and information about things happening in our community.
We also invite you to join our membership and to get involved in MBWA by joining one of our committees.
We are always interested in hearing what the needs and interests of our members and community are, so please don’t hesitate to send any questions, comments or ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are very excited to continue our work as we offer new and annual programs and events this coming year,
which we will kick off with the induction of our 2016-2017 board on September 28th.
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.
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.
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
Immediate Past President
Tinia L. Snow
Janette A. Ekanem
Keidi S. Carrington
Patrice C. Dixon