Recent DEI Events

Black History Month

To commemorate Black History Month, the firm hosted new initiatives to acknowledge the achievements by Black Americans and to recognize their central role in U.S. history. We centered this year’s events on the themes of education, collective accountability and celebration. At Foley Hoag, we aim to inspire our people to learn from each other as we take on a shared responsibility to build a more welcoming and inclusive workplace for all.

Lunch and Documentary Screening: Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise (Part 1)

Our celebration of Black History Month began with a lunch screening of the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. documentary, Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise. This film dives into the last several decades of Black history, exploring the tremendous gains of the Civil Rights Movement in addition to the persistent challenges of these years.

Photos from this event can be viewed here.

Black History Month Luncheon and Panel Discussion:

This year, we hosted a celebratory lunch and thought-provoking conversation around the theme “Black History Month: Where we started, Where we are, and Where we are going The panel consisted of a dynamic mix of our very own attorneys and business professionals, each sharing their unique perspectives and experiences.

Additionally, we launched an external social media campaign highlighting the stories and accomplishments of prominent African American attorneys, each with ties to at least one of the three U.S. cities in which we have offices. See here for our commemorative post for Charles J. Beard, II, a staunch advocate for cultural and racial diversity, and a firm partner starting in 1979.

International Women’s History Month

Our people are important to us! For International Women’s History Month, we asked our inspiring colleagues to share their thoughts on the impact of this meaningful celebration. See below for highlights and meet some of the many talented women at our firm.

International Women's Day - Sara Mattern

International Women's Day - Jordan Moskwiak

International Women's Day - Potellia Kirk

International Women's Day - Nora Moore

International Women's Day - Terry Martland

International Women's Day - Rebecca Cazabon

International Women's Day - Heekyoung Lee

Asian American Pacific Islander Month

Panel Discussion

During this year’s celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the Department of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion hosted a virtual panel discussion on the unique aspects of the AAPI identity. The guest panelists, below, thoughtfully shared their personal stories and experiences.

During AAPI month, we learned that The AAPI community is comprised of a full spectrum of cultures, languages, religions, and traditions. We asked some of our people to share and reflect on their AAPI identity. See below to discover and learn more!

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month - Indhumathi Viswanathan

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month - Heekyoung Lee

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month - Christina Beharry

Read Christina Beharry's statement here.

LGBTQ+ Pride Month

LGBTQ+ 101 Information Session

To kick off our celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, Foley Hoag’s Rosa Nunez and Thanh Vo hosted an information session where participants built on their understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, terminology, and identity spectrum. We are committed to learning and supporting all colleagues at Foley Hoag.

Wrapped in Blue with Donna Rose

Donna RoseAs part of our continued celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we hosted a thought-provoking discussion with Donna Rose, a nationally recognized advocate for transgender and transsexual rights and issues. We are thankful for the opportunity to learn from her personal journey, insights, and experiences.



Partner John Shope Reflects

Partner John Shope reflects on Foley Hoag’s history of LGBTQ+ inclusion and some of the basic rights we’ve advocated for, including:

  • To let a municipal employee receive domestic partner benefits over the objection of her labor union
  • To defend a school’s decision to accurately depict families with same-sex parents
  • To let a high-school student attend school without being blamed by her own principal for other students’ anti-lesbian harassment
  • To allow a transgender bank customer to be treated as would any other
  • To read more on several of Foley Hoag’s key LGBTQ pro bono matters, click here.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Panel Discussion

Last year, we began our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a thought-provoking conversation on the meaning of ‘latinidad' and intersectionality. Panelists shared with us their personal stories and walked us through the multi-dimensional layers of their identities. This event was moderated by Chris Hart, Partner in the Litigation Department, joined by guest speakers:

  • Clara Brillembourg - Partner, ILAD
  • Steph Lavayen - Paralegal, Business
  • Carlos Penaranda - Senior Audio/Video Specialist, IT
  • Maddy Rodriguez - Associate, Litigation
  • Angie Villagrán - Business Development Specialist, Business Development

Monica Ramirez

As part of our continued celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), the Department of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) invited a special guest speaker, Monica Ramirez, to discuss the Hispanic/Latinx community’s current state, including migrants’ rights, inequities, and the road ahead. Monica is a civil rights attorney, #TimesUp activist, and author.

See below for reflections on what Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic/Latinx identity mean to some of our very own people!

Hispanic Heritage Month - Angelica Villagran

Hispanic Heritage Month - Mayjorie Rodriguez

Hispanic Heritage Month - Rebecca Cazabon

Hispanic Heritage Month - Stephanie Lavayen

Other DEI-Related Events

Alexis Hoag

At Foley Hoag, we believe that continuing to have open and honest conversations on racial identity, racism, and the impact of events in our country is critical to the advancement of our DE&I initiatives. To work towards this collective goal, the Department of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion invited Civil Rights Attorney, Alexis Hoag, to lead an educational, virtual session on race, the history of policing, and civil rights in our nation. Alexis Hoag is the inaugural Practitioner-in-Residence at the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights. She has spent over a decade as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer, primarily representing capitally convicted clients in federal post-conviction proceedings. Hoag’s scholarship interests include race and criminal justice, capital punishment, and civil rights.

“Long Road to Justice” Event with Guest Speaker, Ralph Martin

For years, summer associates at Foley Hoag have visited the Long Road to Justice Exhibit at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse to learn more about the struggles, sacrifices, and successes of African Americans in Massachusetts’ history. Given our virtual environment this year, we redesigned the program and invited guest speaker, Ralph Martin, to reflect on his experiences, key learnings, and career journey. Ralph is currently the General Counsel of Northeastern University and a client of Foley Hoag. He was also the first African American to serve as the District Attorney of Suffolk County.

Foley Hoag Women’s Forum Virtual Event: A tour of Women Take the Floor at the MFA

In September 2020, the Foley Hoag Women’s Forum hosted a private virtual tour of “Women Take the Floor” at the Museum of Fine Arts. This temporary exhibit is part of the MFA’s effort to challenge the dominant history of 20th-century American art by focusing on the overlooked and underrepresented work and stories of women artists. During the event, a member of the MFA’s staff guided participants through the exhibit. Attendees enjoyed a thought-provoking evening of art, culture and community as they explored and celebrated women artists whose works represent a variety of media.

Foley Hoag Women's Forum: A Virtual Tour of Women Take the Floor at the MFA