Beacon Award 2017

Thank you to everyone who joined us this year to honor leaders in diversity and inclusion! From live music to a silent auction, this year’s event was a party to remember. Take a peek at photos from the event below.

Thursday, November 2, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center


The Beacon Award recognizes exceptional leaders working to illuminate a new path forward toward a more diverse and inclusive legal profession in Greater Boston. For the first time, we presented three awards to prominent agents of change in our community.

Voice of Change Award

Brent Henry


Brent Henry served as Vice President and General Counsel at Partners Healthcare, and he has written and spoken extensively about recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent. He is a former co-chair of the BBA’s Diversity Leadership Task Force, which was formed in 2006 and ultimately led to the creation of the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section. In 2012, he co-chaired a new trustee committee charged with increasing diversity among the faculty, student body and senior administration of his alma mater, Princeton University. Last year, Henry served on “The Power of Inclusion Forum” as part of the 2016 ACC-Northeast Series on Diversity & Inclusion. Henry is a former BBA Council member and a former member of the Board of Directors at The Partnership, Inc.

“I am deeply honored by this award, and humbled to be recognized in the company of such impactful diversity advocates. I would like to thank the Boston Bar Association, and my fellow honorees, for their work to build a more inclusive legal profession.”

Empowerment Award

Iv­án Espinoza-Madrigal, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice

In a decade as a public interest lawyer, Espinoza-Madrigal has worked on a wide range of civil rights issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT/HIV equality. He was named one of Boston’s “100 Most Influential People of Color” by The Boston Globe in 2016. He speaks nationally on civil rights issues; contributes writing to the Practical Lawyer and the Huffington Post; and provides legal commentary to CNN, Univision, and Telemundo, focusing on the legal needs of people who identify across intersecting lines of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status. Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Espinoza-Madrigal was the Legal Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy where he advised policymakers locally and nationally on LGBT/HIV issues.

“At the Lawyers’ Committee, we are deeply honored and humbled to receive the Boston Bar Association’s prestigious Beacon Award. This is a recognition of the tireless work of our full staff and Board, particularly in response to unprecedented challenges to diversity and civil rights. We will accept this award on behalf of our courageous clients and the diverse communities we represent.”


Corporate Champion Award


The legal department at Biogen has long demonstrated its commitment to increasing diversity within its own staff and in the greater legal community. Biogen has developed a system of diversity metrics which the legal team uses when choosing outside counsel. In 2016, Biogen was named the Top Biotech Company in the Calvert Diversity Report. Biogen was one of only 10 companies to receive a score of 95 out of 100, and the only biotech company to do so.

General Counsel Susan Alexander , who will accept the award on behalf of Biogen, is a frequent speaker advocating for diversity. On behalf of her corporate department, she signed onto ABA Resolution 113 to Help Promote Diversity in the Legal Profession. Alexander has served as a mentor to diverse corporate counsel in the Boston area.

“At Biogen, we are steadfastly committed to creating a global culture built around the principles of diversity and inclusion. I am extremely grateful to the Boston Bar Association for recognizing our dedication to providing equal access to opportunities within our own company, as well as fostering relationships with vendors and partners who share these values. On behalf of Biogen, I am honored to accept this award.”


2 tickets to the Huntington Theatre

2 Orchestra Seat tickets to Broadway in Boston’s production of Love Never Dies on February 3

2 Orchestra Seat tickets to Broadway in Boston’s production of On Your Feet! on April 21

4 tickets to the Celtics in January or February and access to the Legends Club

4 tickets to the Bruins in January or February and access to the Legends Club

2 tickets to the Red Sox in April or May 2018 in a private box with food and beverage included. Date to be decided when schedule is published.

A weekend in a private home In Stowe VT in the fall, spring or summer.

One bottle of Isle of Jura 21-Year Single Malt Scotch

Tiffany cufflinks

Tea for two at the Taj

One night stay at the Copley Sheraton

One night stay at the Copley Sheraton

2 tickets to a Boston Harbor Cruise

Marcus Smart Autographed Basketball


Champions of Diversity


Damon Hart

Committee Chair
Damon Hart
Liberty Mutual Group

Kate Cook

Kate Cook
Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C.

Angela Gomes

Angela Gomes
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

Stephen Hall

Stephen Hall
Holland and Knight

Sarah Kim

Sarah Kim
Massachusetts Department of the State Treasurer


Robert Quinan
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office

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