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Barnes & Thornburg Honors Chicago Civil Rights and Social Justice Community Leaders

CHICAGO – On Aug. 15, nearly 300 legal and business community leaders attended Barnes & Thornburg’s ninth annual Celebration of Diversity Dinner, where Chicago City Clerk the Hon. Anna Valencia presented the keynote and three Chicago diversity pioneers were honored.

“Conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion are as pervasive as ever in today’s society, and we pride ourselves in taking deliberate steps to make improvements in the legal and business communities, which have always been scrutinized when it comes to hiring and developing talent from all backgrounds,” said Richard Boykin, a partner in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee who founded the annual event. “Each year, we honor those who embody values of fairness, professionalism, respect and inclusiveness, and the latest award recipients are no exception.”

The dinner and awards ceremony, held at the University Club of Chicago, recognized those who have exhibited a personal and professional commitment to diversity, justice and civil rights. The award recipients were:

  • John Mayes, CEO and president of Trilogy, Inc. Mayes has worked in the mental and behavioral health field for more than three decades. At Trilogy, Mayes develops community partnerships to help bridge funding and service gaps and ensures barriers to primary and behavioral healthcare are reduced or eliminated for those on their path to recovery.
  • Colette Holt, president of Colette Holt & Associates, who is renowned for her work in designing, implementing and defending affirmative action programs. She also serves as general counsel to the American Contract Compliance Association, the national organization of officials responsible for minority, women and disadvantaged business initiatives.
  • Rami Nashashibi, executive director and founder of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network. Nashashibi focuses on health and wellness initiatives in Chicago’s urban areas, where he helps former prisoners with reentry and provides them with income-based housing, job training and salaried positions, among other tools and resources.

Mark Rust, managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office, added: “At Barnes & Thornburg, we believe it’s incredibly important to recognize those who have made meaningful contributions to diversity and inclusion-related causes – to honor great leaders with ambitious goals for Chicago’s communities that have faced historical injustices and disparities.”

Sponsors of Barnes & Thornburg’s ninth annual Celebration of Diversity event were The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, The Chicago Lighthouse, Constellation Brands Beer Division, and PepsiCo.

With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from 14 offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, Texas and Washington, D.C.



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