Diversity Honors Gala to Honor Leaders in Legal Diversity
National Awards Program Set for New York’s Lincoln Center





February 14, 2013


Diane Nowak-Waring
Court Blatchford

Diversity Honors Gala to Honor Leaders in Legal Diversity
National Awards Program Set for New York’s Lincoln Center

WASHINGTON – The Diversity Honors Gala, the nation’s premier awards program honoring leaders in the legal profession for diversity and inclusion, will return to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on September 17. Hosted by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), the gala will recognize legal departments and law firms from across the country, and MCCA will bestow its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

The evening will begin with red-carpet arrivals followed by the awards program in the Starr Theater that combines honors with entertainment, concluding with an elegant VIP Reception in Alice Tully Hall. Five Employers of Choice – one each from five different regions of the country – will be recognized. They each will be honored for demonstrating an exemplary commitment to diversity and creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace.

MCCA will also recognize diversity innovators, corporate legal departments, law firms or legal bar associations, which implement outstanding diversity programs.

One person will be honored with MCCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to someone who has made important and lasting contributions to advancing a society that fully appreciates, celebrates and recognizes the value of diversity. In 2012, MCCA bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dennis W. Archer, former Detroit mayor and Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. In 2011, MCCA awarded its first Lifetime Achievement Award to civil rights leader Vernon Jordan.

Last year’s event, also held at the Lincoln Center, drew 1,100 attendees.

The Diversity Honors Gala is being organized by a steering committee that includes Tom Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of DuPont; Michelle C. Ifill, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Verizon Enterprise Solutions; Benjamin F. Wilson, Managing Principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.; Wood W. Lay, Partner of Winston and Strawn; and Gloria Santona, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, McDonald’s Corporation. Other legal leaders are expected to join the steering committee.

The cost of the gala will be underwritten by sponsorships. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has committed $50,000 in support, and MCCA welcomes other sponsors.

“Every day, members of the legal profession strive to advance diversity and inclusion in their organizations,” said Joseph K. West, MCCA’s President and CEO. “At the gala, we will celebrate their achievements and recognize the fact that diverse, inclusive workplaces enjoy a competitive advantage.”

To learn more about MCCA’s Diversity Honors Gala and sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Jennifer Chen, Vice President – External Relations, at or 202-739-5902.

About MCCA

MCCA was founded in 1997 to advance the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA accomplishes its mission through publishing, research and training, pipeline initiatives and networking. MCCA’s work has been recognized with awards from the National Minority Business Council, Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National LGBT Bar, and the Association of Corporate Counsel.

MCCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and also has a Southeast regional office in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, go to


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