LOS ANGELES – Melanie Mawema, Barnes & Thornburg’s director of administration-West region, has been presented with the 2023 Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Community Impact Award (Mid-Sized Company) by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The publication’s awards honor diversity, inclusion and equity champions in the Los Angeles region for advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace and creating an equitable environment.
Melanie was given the award at the Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Symposium and Awards event at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on March 29, 2023, attended by law firms and corporations from the area.
Melanie joined Barnes & Thornburg in 2011 as office administrator when the firm opened its Los Angeles office. Through Melanie’s involvement as a member of the firm’s Racial Justice Committee, she has played a key part in supporting meaningful action to address issues of racial equity and justice in communities where the firm has offices.
She also led initiatives to create a partnership with the Social Justice Learning Institute, resulting in volunteer opportunities for Barnes & Thornburg personnel at SJLI’s site in Inglewood. Similarly, Melanie was actively involved in researching and facilitating efforts surrounding the Barnes & Thornburg Racial and Social Justice Foundation’s $50,000 grant to RISE in San Diego in 2022.
Melanie worked with Firm Diversity Partner Dawn Rosemond to offer the firm’s 1L Diversity Scholarship program for the Los Angeles and San Diego offices, a program that gives minority first-year law students the opportunity to join the summer program as paid associates and gives the offices a pipeline into diverse talent from law schools. She also spearheaded an initiative through the Expanding Horizons Internship Program in which a first-generation, college-bound high school student joined the firm’s office as an intern for an intensive experience of skill development and personal growth aimed at preparing them for college, career, and civic life.
Melanie has volunteered at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and has organized Barnes & Thornburg’s involvement in the annual Justice Jog, which raises money for CASA of Los Angeles.
With more than 800 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, Boston, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, South Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews.