To create a diverse, representative and collaborative environment within legal services in order to provide accessible, welcoming and culturally competent services to clients of all backgrounds and their communities.
The Massachusetts Legal Services Diversity Coalition was established by MLAC in 1990 to raise awareness of diversity issues and provide technical assistance on diversity to legal aid programs across the Commonwealth.
In 2010, MLAC’s Diversity Coalition director took on coordination of the Retention Task Force, which was created to examine disproportionate impact of the economic downturn on attorneys of color in the civil legal aid system. The Task Force finalized its recommendations in spring 2012. Its final report can be found here .
Statewide Diversity Council
The Statewide Diversity Council is a collaboration between MLAC and the legal aid organizations that it funds to identify and address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion within civil legal aid in Massachusetts.
For more information, contact Tonysha Taylor, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion during the Pandemic
- The Dual Crisis: How the COVID-19 Recession Deepens Racial and Economic Inequality Among Communities of Color – Center for Law and Social Policy
- Black Americans, suffering disproportionately from COVID-19, face a mounting mental health crisis – Boston Globe
- Black-owned restaurants to support in the Greater Boston area – Boston.com
- Black American Experiences during the Covid-19 Pandemic – Harvard Library
- Covid-19’s Impact on People in Prison – Equal Justice Initiative
- Ripple Effect: Behind Bars During COVID – WGBH Boston
- Pandemic’s front line work falls on women, minorities – CBS News
- A New Study Shows Just How Badly Black Americans Have Been Hit by Covid-19 – Politico
- Financial and Health Impacts of Covid-19 Vary Widely by Race and Ethnicity – Pew Research Center
- Covid-19’s Race and Class Warfare – Opinion – New York Times
- The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation – American Public Health Association
- Black Women Have Long Faced Racism in Healthcare. COVID-19 is Only Amplifying It – The Appeal
- The Science of Why Coronavirus Exposes Racism and Xenophobia – Forbes
- Talking About Coronavirus Centering Language Around Inclusion, Empowerment, and Justice – The Opportunity Agenda
- Why I don’t feel safe wearing a face mask – Boston Globe – Opinion
- Coronavirus will overwhelm our civil legal aid system – Seattle Times – Opinion
- Maintaining Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic – The Steve Fund
- How can employers stop discrimination during the coronavirus pandemic? – ABA Journal
- Coronavirus: Protect Yourself and Stand Against Racism – Facing History and Ourselves
- Emotional Well-Being and Coping During COVID-19 – University of California, San Francisco
- Six Age-Appropriate Books and Resources for Teaching Kids about COVID-19 – KQED
Additional Articles and Resources
- Racism Is Terrible. Blackness Is Not. (Imani Perry, The Atlantic)
- Indigenous Peoples Day Resources – MLAC
- Mind Sciences Key Concepts – Perception Institute
- Prosecuting Fairly – Rachel Godsil
- Implicit Bias in the Courtroom – Kang, et al
- Racial Anxiety – Godsil and Richardson
- Microaggressions – Milo Primeaux
- Raising the Bar – Milo Primeaux
- Bringing Your Whole Self to Work in Legal Services – Milo Primeaux
- Know Your Rights – MIRA Coalition
- Terms and Definitions – YW Boston
- Instituting a Race Conscious Practice in Legal Aid – Hemley and Merchant
- Hiring Biases – Simmons University
- In Boston, the middle class is shrinking, and it’s harder to get ahead than it used to be (Boston Globe)
- Race and gender bias is rampant in law, says new report that also offers tools to fight it (ABA Journal)
- Eviction isn’t just about poverty. It’s also about race — and Virginia proves it. (Washington Post)
- In True Color: Discussion of Race, Media and Responsible Coverage (WGBH News)
- The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School.
- DiversityInc – offers articles on a wide variety of workplace-related topics
- The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University
- The Race Equity Project: A Special Project of Legal Services of Northern California
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Resource Sheet – MLAC
- Native American Heritage Month Resources – MLAC
- Indigenous Peoples Day Resources – MLAC
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the News
- MLAC Statement: We Must Collaborate to End Racism
- ‘White, white, white. Then there’s me.’ A Black lawyer shares her experiences (Boston Globe)
- Walk in My Shoes: A Day in the Life of a Black Woman Attorney (Danielle Johnson, GBLS – Boston Bar Journal)
- How to Manage Your Team in Times of Political Trauma (Michelle Kim – Awaken)
- Maintaining Professionalism In The Age of Black Death Is….A Lot (Shenequa Golding – Medium)
- First Asian American Judge in Massachusetts Honored with national award. (Sampan)
- Diversity Lacking Among Judges in Massachusetts. (CBS Boston WBZ)
- Boston. Racism. Image. Reality. (Boston Globe)
- Speaking Black Dialect in Courtrooms Can Have Striking Consequences (New York Times)
Looking for events highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in Massachusetts? Check out our interactive calendar (coming soon).
MLAC’s 2021 DEI Conference
The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation hosted It’s Time: Centering Anti-Racism in Civil Legal Aid – Successes, Challenges and Next Steps in July 2021.
During this virtual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion conference, we heard from leaders in the civil legal aid community and beyond to help us center race in the work that we do in the poverty and social justice space. This conference was part two of a series, which started in May 2021 at the MCLE Annual Legal Services Conference, focusing on lessons that lead to action and sustainable long term change.