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May 20, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


2 0 2 1 A N N U A L
The Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA) is pleased to announce our 2021 Annual Gala
which will be held over the course of two days: virtually on Thursday, May 20th and socially-distanced on Friday, May 21st, 2021. This two-day celebration will begin with a virtual gala on May 20th followed by an outdoor drive-in concert in Boston on May 21st featuring local Boston artists.

This year, we are excited to be celebrating the accomplishments of Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ralph C. Martin, III and our Trailblazer Award Recipients Steven H. Wright, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Yalonda Howze, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary of Codiak BioSciences.

The MBLA is one of the oldest and largest affinity bar associations in New England. Since 1973, it has been a leader in the area of diversity and inclusion, providing a valuable network and visible presence for attorneys of color in the Massachusetts legal community. The MBLA strives to provide its members with professional development and career advancement opportunities through innovative programs, networking events and continuing legal education trainings. The MBLA also sponsors forums on current topics of interest to members of the legal community and seeks collaborations with other bar associations and professional organizations, with a particular focus on providing services to communities of color.

During the 2020-2021 programming year, the MBLA hosted and participated in more than twenty programs including our four-part Real Talk Series which focused on topics such as legislative and prosecutorial reform, and the impact of discrimination on the psyche of Black lawyers; CORI sealing clinics, where our members provided assistance to formerly incarcerated members of the Massachusetts community; MLK Day of Service, where fifteen MBLA volunteers presented to over 100 middle and high  school students on topics concerning imposter syndrome and the First Amendment; and held virtual wellness and cooking events for our members. Our members also provided mentorship to law students  and hosted virtual networking events. Significantly, the MBLA spearheaded the Walk in Solidarity for Social Change along with other affinity bar organizations to demonstrate our continuing commitment to  social justice, civil rights and to stand in solidarity with our community as we fight to dismantle systemic racism and implicit and explicit bias. At the end of the walk, we challenged participants to contribute ten hours of pro bono or volunteer services to civil rights organizations. Over 200 attorneys accepted the call. In the midst of the challenges related to COVID-19, we remain strong as an organization and will continue to advocate for our members and community.

Your sponsorship allows the MBLA to support law students through our Building the Legacy Scholarship Fund and enables us to provide opportunities to our members and the community at-large for little to no cost. Included with this letter is information on sponsorships for the 2021 Annual Gala.

We ask that you please complete your registration using our online registration page or email a completed form to gala@mablacklawyers.org by Monday, May 3, 2021.

Thank you for your anticipated support of our gala. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Stesha A. Emmanuel
2020-2021 MBLA President


May 20, 2021
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Stesha A. Emmanuel

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