News Releases
October 03, 2019

The BBA Announces Its 2019 Beacon Award Honorees: Yalonda Howze, Liberty Mutual, and the Partnership Between Greater Boston Legal Service’s Asian Outreach Project and the Asian American Resource Workshop

Press Release

October 3, 2019 – BOSTON, MA – The Boston Bar Association (BBA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019 Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion, to be honored at the Beacon Award ceremony on November 14 at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center. The evening will provide an opportunity for both celebration and inspiration in highlighting how the legal community and its leaders are working together create a new path forward toward a more diverse and inclusive legal profession in Greater Boston. This year’s honorees are:

Mintz Partner Yalonda T. Howze will receive this year’s Voice of Change Award for her dedication to advancing diversity and inclusion in Boston’s legal community, as well as for her leadership at Mintz in expanding the firm’s diversity initiatives.

Howze is a persistent advocate for the representation of women of color working in the law, particularly in leadership and partner-level positions, and speaks frequently about the various barriers that women in general must overcome to advance their careers. The Beacon Award Selection Committee was unanimous in praising her as a trailblazer for women of color in and outside of her firm, particularly in the life sciences field.

At Mintz, Howze serves as director of Mintz’s pro bono initiatives in conjunction with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has served on the firm’s Hiring Committee and Diversity Committee, and is also an active board member of Lawyers for Civil Rights. In 2016, Howze received the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys’ Ida B. Wells Award, which recognizes women who exemplify Wells’ pioneering spirit and courage.

The Voice of Change Award recognizes a luminary leader in the legal community who has forged a new path and played an extensive role in advancing diversity and inclusion within the profession.

Greater Boston Legal Services’ Asian Outreach Project (AOP) and the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW) will receive this year’s Empowerment Award for their collaboration on preventing the deportation of Vietnamese and Cambodian Americans. The organizations have been working to help members of these communities get pardons and fight deportations in immigration proceedings. The AOP works on individual cases as well as community awareness. This partnership is an outstanding example of organizations collaborating to empower communities and provide critical legal support and advocacy.

The Empowerment Award recognizes a powerful advocate that works to create systemic change in the wider community by amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups and advancing civil rights, access to justice, and/or diversity & inclusion.

Boston-based Liberty Mutual will receive this year’s Corporate Champion Award for its unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion across the entire company, including putting attorneys of color into leadership positions. In 2018 & 2019, Forbes Magazine named Liberty one of the county’s best employers for diversity, and the company has received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. Fortune Magazine named Liberty one of the “Best Workplaces for Diversity.”

The Corporate Champion Award recognizes an in-house legal department that has been a leader in internal and/or external projects and practices that promote a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.

Read more about the BBA’s Beacon Award Ceremony here.