Metropolitan Black Bar Association to Host 37th Anniversary Awards Gala

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The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) will host its 37th Anniversary Awards Gala virtually on Friday May 21, 2021

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) will host its 37th Anniversary Awards Gala virtually on Friday May 21, 2021. The event will be streamed live beginning at 7:00 pm.

Each year, the Annual Awards Gala is a celebration of the past year’s accomplishments as well as an opportunity to raise funds to benefit the next generation of legal professionals with financial aid, scholarships and mentoring. This year’s virtual celebration will continue to recognize the achievements of the MBBA, its sponsors, honorees and the community.

The MBBA is a unified citywide association of Black and other minority lawyers and legal professionals with a mission to advance equality and excellence in the pursuit of justice, aid the progress of Blacks and other minorities in the profession, address legal issues affecting the citywide community, and foster the study of law by encouraging the personal and professional development of young lawyers and law students.

Founded on July 5, 1984, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association was created from the merger of the Harlem Lawyers Association, founded in 1921, and the Bedford Stuyvesant Lawyers Association, founded in 1933. As one of the largest organizations of Black attorneys in New York State, the MBBA continues the rich legacy of its two predecessor organizations by providing a voice for Black legal professionals in the communities it serves.

Today, the MBBA is comprised of mostly minority attorneys in large and small law firms, solo practitioners, all levels of government, academia, corporations, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations and the judiciary.

“In this crucial time during American history, the MBBA must continue its important role to affect change. We can do this by raising our voices. We must amplify the power of the Black Bar, and L.E.A.P. into excellence. Devoted partners and loyal members – such as our five Gala honorees this year – have made it possible for us to once again reach our goals and make a difference,” stated President Anta Cissé-Green.

Visit: #MBBAGALA21


Trailblazer of the Year
Alphonzo A. Grant, Jr.
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
Alphonzo Grant, Jr. is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and currently serves as the Head of the Global Litigation Group’s Special Investigation Unit for Institutional Securities and Investment Management (“SIU”). SIU is responsible for conducting internal investigations of employee business conduct violations across the Firm’s several business units. Mr. Grant also oversees investigations of institutional customer complaints in the Americas and represents the Firm in various regulatory and criminal matters.

Public Servant of the Year
Rosemonde Pierre-Louis
Chief Operating Officer, NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research
Rosemonde Pierre-Louis is a highly-recognized public sector leader, known for driving social and economic change. She has dedicated her career to helping the most vulnerable to receive access to justice, services, and support. Rosemonde currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at McSilver Institute, where she oversees day-to-day operations of the institute, as well as the administrative, finance, external affairs and communications departments.

Jurist of the Year
Hon. Cheryl E. Chambers
Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Second Judicial, Department
New York State Supreme Court
Chambers is also an Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, appointed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, February 2008 to present. She is a Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Second Judicial District who elected and has served from 1999 to present. Chambers is a Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York, elected, 1995 to 1998. She graduated JD from Boston University School of Law and earned her M.B.A., from Rutgers Graduate School of Management.

Corporate Counsel of the Year
Kevin Clunis
Senior Vice President, Legal, Ross Stores, Inc.
Kevin Andrew Clunis is Group Vice President of Legal and Compliance at Ross Stores, Inc., where he leads a team of attorneys and compliance professionals. Reporting directly to the company’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel, he oversees a broad mandate of legal matters.
Prior to Ross, Kevin served in senior legal roles at the Colgate-Palmolive Company, including Assistant General Counsel and Director of Global Government Affairs; Chief Litigation Counsel; General Counsel for Colgate-Canada; Special Counsel for Colgate-Europe in Geneva, Switzerland; and primary counsel overseeing Records Management and eDiscovery. Kevin also co-Chaired the company’s Volunteer Legal Service and Pro Bono Committees.

Private Practitioner of the Year
Lori Anne Douglass
Partner, Douglass Rademacher LLP
Lori Anne Douglass concentrates her practice in all areas of Trusts & Estates. With respect to estate planning, Lori assists clients in establishing comprehensive disability, estate, and business succession plans. This includes the establishment of trusts, the transfer of family-owned businesses, the establishment of private and public foundations and strategic planning to assist clients in maximizing wealth preservation.

In the area of estate administration and estate litigation, Lori handles both contested and uncontested estate matters. Her estate litigation practice includes the representation of heirs, beneficiaries, disinherited family members, executors, administrators and trustees in all types of probate and administration proceedings, from the initial filing through the final accounting.


As sponsors continue to join the MBBA gala each day, the organization is extremely grateful for the partnership from: Kirkland Ellis LLP; Allen & Overy; The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.; Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; WilmerHale; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP; Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP; Akin Gump Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, Covington & Burling LLP; Shearman & Sterling LLP; Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Morgan Stanley; Alphonzo Grant, Jr.; Walden Macht & Haran LLP; Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; and Major Lindsey & Africa LLC; Vidal Peoples; Strategies for Wealth; and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

The virtual gala is proudly produced once more by Bee Season Consulting LLC. For more information on the 2021 MBBA Gala, please contact Tickets and Sponsorships via credit card can be made here: To pay by check, make checks payable to Metropolitan Black Bar Association. Payments may be mailed directly to Metropolitan Black Bar Association, 1001 Avenue of the Americas, 11th Floor, New York, New York 10018.


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