Yesterday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice received the Boston Bar Association’s Beacon Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
This award recognizes the importance of our life-changing and law-changing work. We foster equal opportunity and fight discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants. We engage in creative and courageous legal action, often against established interests, in collaboration with community partners.
We are good trouble, necessary trouble. We integrated public schools, police and fire departments, and public housing projects. And this award belongs to our courageous clients.
Clients like the people of color who face persistent barriers to getting hired and promoted in the Boston Police Department and the Boston Fire Department.
As the NAACP and the Boston Globe have recognized: our public safety agencies simply do not reflect the demographic make-up of our beautiful majority-minority city – and this has to change. Diversity is part-and-parcel of community accountability, inclusion, and transparency.
You don’t have to go to Washington to find injustice. It’s right here in our own backyard. We need more than flashy public statements and good intentions. Local inaction is just as harmful as federal action.
At the Lawyers’ Committee, we’re holding institutions accountable, and we want you to hold us accountable. If you see injustice, say something. Let us know what you want us to tackle.
Together, we can bring to life Martin Luther King’s call to action: “Boston must be a testing ground for the ideals of freedom.”