Metropolitan Black Bar Association Highlights Achiever’s At 32nd Annual Awards Gala

Board Members of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, 2016 Gala Image Credit:
Board Members of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, 2016 Gala
Image Credit:


At a time where people in our community are looking for examples of achievement, every event that is publicized is a morale boost. This past Friday, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association held the 32nd Annual Awards Gala at Chelsea Piers. On a Friday evening in downtown Manhattan, I was fortunate to attend, and witness the spirit of collective affirmation. The MBBA is an organization that began in the city, and has grown to be among the largest organization of Black lawyers in New York State. The theme for this year’s gala was Advocates for Inclusion: Leading With Courage, Commitment, and Conviction.

At this event, those qualities were recognized and lauded. Since attorneys often find themselves concerned with diversity in the field, they can at times be activists. The purpose of the gala was to raise funds for community outreach efforts, advocacy, and working to lessen the barriers for those interested in entering the legal field.

Sandra Bookman of WABC was this year’s mistress of ceremonies. The five people who were recognized were as follows:

Donahue Peebles, Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, who received the award for Trailblazer of the Year

Kathlyn Card Beckles, General Counsel for Card Services J.P. Morgan Chase, for Corporate Counsel of the year

Honorable Marguerite Grays, Eleventh Judicial District and Presiding Justice – Commercial Division, Jurist of the year

S. Jeanine Conley, Partner, Littler Mendelson, P.C. , Private Practitioner of the year

The Honorable Carl Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Public Servant of the year

Congratulations to all of the award winners, and to the MBBA for hosting a successful gala.

About the MBBA:

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) is a unified, citywide association of African-American and other minority lawyers. Founded on July 5, 1984, MBBA is one of the largest organizations of Black attorneys in New York State. Providing a voice for Black legal professionals in the communities it serves, the purpose of MBBA is to advance equality and excellence in the pursuit of justice, aid the progress of Blacks and other minorities in the profession and address legal issues affecting the citywide community. To learn more visit:

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