“The way that we honor the legacy – like the people that we’re here to honor tonight – is to do our best, and not only to do our best, but one of the things I want to say to all of you and the challenge to all of you is to help others,” said City of Philadelphia Law Department tax attorney and Diversity Chair to the Philadelphia Bar Association Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq. as she delivered the keynote address at the Black Law Students Association
’s third-annual Trailblazers Honor Banquet on the Delaware Campus on Tuesday, February 26th.
“I also want you guys to help and support each other because that’s one of the things that we don’t necessarily do the way that we should, and by helping someone else, you’re not hurting yourself, you’re bringing everybody – lifting everybody – up,” she continued before concluding, “That’s the best way to honor the legacy of all the people who came before us.”
In her keynote, Johnson-Huston shared her personal story with the audience, discussing how she overcame a difficult childhood and fought her way through college and then law school to achieve her goals.
BLSA began the trailblazers event to celebrate Black History Month in 2011 by honoring four of the law school’s first minority graduates. The second-annual event honored nine alumni in 2012.
Three distinguished African-American alumni were honored at this year's dinner; Judge Calvin L. Scott, Jr., a 1989 graduate who serves on the Delaware Superior Court; Leon A.Williams, Esq., a 1982 graduate with a solo practice in Philadelphia focused predominantly on family law; and Stacy L. Shields, Esq. of the class of 1993, a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Moody, Shields, Mincey & Fitzpatrick LLC who practices in the areas of family law, labor and employment law, personal injury, civil rights and small business law.
Judge Scott was unable to attend, but both Williams and Shields received their awards in person and offered brief remarks.
“I’m being honored today as a trailblazer by a bunch of trailblazers,” said Williams, who recounted his own difficult experiences but said of the school, “It’s a great place now, and I enjoy being here.”
Video of the complete keynote address is provided to the right, and you can also view the remarks by Mr. Williams
and Ms. Shields
on Widener Law’s Youtube channel
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