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Lawyers of Color Honors DE&I Pacesetter BAL with Aspire Diversity Award



DALLAS /PRNewswire/ — Corporate immigration powerhouse BAL was distinguished this month by Lawyers of Color (LOC), for its industry-leading commitment to organizational diversity, equity and inclusion. The Washington D.C.-based nonprofit for the advancement of legal professionals of color awarded BAL with the Aspire Diversity Award, and will feature the firm in its Diversity Issue 2023 publication. Four of BAL’s Partners are named to the 2023 Lawyers of Color Power List: Managing Partner Frieda Garcia; Rob Caballero, who manages BAL’s Houston office; Nassim Mahzoon, who oversees the Santa Clara, Calif. office; and Edward Rios, who leads the firm’s Boston office.

The Aspire Diversity Award honors law firms that are dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion in their staff, managing partners, executive management committee and office managing partners, and that employ 4% or more Black attorneys.

BAL, the 2023 Immigration Law Firm of the Year by Best Lawyers-U.S. News & World Report, also ranked as the #1 law firm in the country for diversity on Law360’s 2022 Diversity Snapshot for the third year in a row. BAL also ranks the highest in diversity among equity partners, associates and other attorneys compared to firms of its size. Sixty three percent of BAL employees are people of color and the majority of BAL’s attorneys, 54%, are attorneys of color. Attorneys of color also make up 28% of the firm’s partners, 63% of the firm’s equity partners, and 60% of other BAL attorneys. The Aspire Diversity Award underscores BAL’s leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal industry, and the business sector as a whole.

“We are thrilled to be acknowledged by Lawyers of Color for our exceptional and authentic people-centered culture,” said Nicole Dawson, Chief People Officer. “We have always known that diversity is one of our biggest strengths and reflects our inclusive work environment and how we interact with our clients and our communities.”

LOC’s Power List distinguishes the most influential attorneys of color in the U.S., and is the only comprehensive listing of its kind in the industry. LOC initially compiled the list to highlight the achievements of lawyers of color and to promote DE&I in the legal industry.

“I’m honored to receive this significant and historic award,” said Managing Partner Frieda Garcia, who has helped BAL become a thought leader on DE&I issues. “My experience of diversity is lived and inspires me to cultivate diversity, empowerment and belonging in our DE&I initiatives. Diversity, equity and inclusion power our unified, oneBAL people culture, and because of it, we are that much more effective for our immigration clients across the nation and around the world.”

About Lawyers of Color

Lawyers of Color is a 501(c)(3) missioned to advancing diversity in the legal profession and democracy and equality in marginalized communities. LOC champions attorneys of color and analyzes the intersection of the legal profession and social justice. The organization supplies critical research, career development, and brand marketing opportunities to its clients, and is recognized by the American Bar Association, National Association of Black Journalists, and National Black Law Students Association. LOC maintains a social media and email census of nearly 50,000 legal professionals, the record largest of any minority legal organization.

About BAL

BAL, the world’s leading corporate immigration law firm, is singularly focused on meeting the immigration challenges of corporate clients around the world in ways that make immigration more strategic and enable businesses to be more successful. Established in 1980, BAL has consistently provided immigration expertise, people-centered client services and leading technology innovation. In 2018, BAL entered into a first-of-its-kind strategic alliance with Deloitte U.K. to create the world’s first global immigration service delivery model. BAL’s proprietary Cobalt® digital immigration services platform won the 2020 CODiE Award for Best Legal Tech Product, the prestigious CIO100 award for Innovative Use of Intelligent Automation in Immigration Services and Legalweek‘s Most Innovative Law Firm Operations Team of 2021. BAL and its leaders are highly ranked in every major legal publication, including Best Lawyers, Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal.

BAL has ranked #1 on multiple industry rankings for diversity, equity and inclusion, including the #1 Law Firm for Women by the National Law Journal four years in a row (2019-2022), #1 on the Diversity Scorecard by The American Lawyer (2020 and 2021), and #1 on Law360’s Diversity Snapshot for three years running (2020-2022). BAL won in seven of Comparably‘s Best Company categories, including Diversity, Women, Career Growth, and Perks & Benefits. The Dallas Business Journal named BAL one of only a handful of the 2022 Best Places to Work based exclusively on employee feedback. US News & World ReportBest Lawyers named BAL the 2023 Immigration Law Firm of the Year.

SOURCE Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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Black History

The Legacy of Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.: A Trailblazer in Invention, Business, and Community Leadership

Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.: Inventor, businessman, and community leader whose legacy continues to inspire generations with his groundbreaking contributions.



Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr., a prominent figure in American history, left an indelible mark through his remarkable contributions as an inventor, businessman, and community leader. Born on March 4, 1877, Morgan’s legacy continues to inspire generations.

One of Morgan’s most renowned inventions was the three-way traffic light, a pivotal innovation that revolutionized road safety and traffic management. Additionally, his creation of the protective ‘smoke hood’ proved instrumental during the 1916 tunnel construction disaster rescue, saving numerous lives and highlighting his commitment to public safety.

Beyond his inventions, Morgan ventured into the realm of haircare, developing a groundbreaking chemical hair-processing solution that led to the establishment of the successful “G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Company.” His entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to innovation paved the way for a complete line of haircare products.

Morgan’s influence extended beyond the business world; he actively engaged in the civic and political advancement of African Americans, particularly in Cleveland, Ohio, and surrounding areas. His efforts exemplified a commitment to fostering positive change and empowerment within his community.

In recognition of his significant contributions, several institutions and landmarks bear Morgan’s name, honoring his legacy. From the Garrett A. Morgan Cleveland School of Science to the Garrett A. Morgan Water Treatment Plant, his impact is immortalized in various locations across the United States.

Notably, Morgan’s legacy was nationally recognized at the Emancipation Centennial Celebration in Chicago in August 1963, underscoring his enduring influence and importance in American history. His inclusion in the book “100 Greatest African Americans” by Molefi Kete Asante further solidifies his place among the most influential figures in African American history.

Morgan’s inventions continue to captivate audiences, with his safety hood featured on popular television shows like “Inventions that Shook the World” and “Mysteries at the Museum,” showcasing the lasting impact of his innovations on society.

As an honorary member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Morgan’s dedication to excellence and service continues to inspire individuals to strive for greatness and make a positive difference in their communities.

The remarkable life and achievements of Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr. serve as a testament to the power of innovation, entrepreneurship, and advocacy, leaving a lasting legacy that resonates with generations past, present, and future.

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Black History

The Alabama National Guard Celebrates Arrival of F-35A Jets and Honors Tuskegee Airmen Legacy

Alabama National Guard celebrates F-35A arrival, honoring Tuskegee Airmen, marking a pivotal shift in military readiness and legacy continuation.



The Alabama National Guard recently showcased the world’s most advanced combat aircraft, the F-35A Lighting II stealth fighter jets, in a ceremony and flight show in Montgomery. This celebration not only highlighted the Guard’s vital role in national military readiness but also paid homage to the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.

“Alabama National Guard Unveils F-35A Jets: Honoring Tuskegee Airmen Legacy”

In 2017, the Air Force selected Alabama’s 187th Fighter Wing as the F-35A’s home base, solidifying this decision after thorough planning and environmental analysis in 2020. The arrival of the first three F-35 jets in December marked a significant milestone for the unit, which is set to replace the F-16s with these fifth-generation aircraft.

During the ceremony, Col. Brian Vaughn emphasized the unit’s readiness to carry forward the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, drawing inspiration from their dedication and sacrifice. The event was graced by Governor Kay Ivey and other officials, underscoring the importance of this transition to the F-35s.

Lt. Col. Richard Peace, a seasoned member of the Alabama Air National Guard, highlighted the game-changing technology of the F-35, emphasizing its superiority in combat scenarios. The aircraft’s advanced capabilities, including long-range threat detection and stealth features, signify a significant advancement in aerial warfare.

The road to acquiring the F-35s was a collaborative effort involving military leaders, congressional delegations, local officials, and private citizens. Col. Casey Hall reiterated the lasting impact of this program on the Alabama Air National Guard, emphasizing its longevity and relevance in modern warfare.

With plans to receive a total of 20 F-35s over the next five years, the 187th Fighter Wing is gearing up for full operational capability by 2026. This transition not only secures military and civilian jobs but also cements the unit’s legacy as a continuation of the Tuskegee Airmen’s fighter squadron.

The arrival of the F-35s represents a significant milestone for the Alabama National Guard, positioning them as a key player in global operations and underscoring their commitment to excellence and innovation in military aviation. The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen lives on through the 187th Fighter Wing, ensuring that their spirit of bravery and service endures for generations to come.


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Black History

Honoring Black Poets: Celebrating Black Poetry Day

Celebrate Black Poetry Day on October 17th, honoring the voices of black poets and their profound impact on literature. #BlackPoetryDay



Black Poetry Day is a significant occasion that takes place on October 17th each year. This special day pays homage to the rich legacy of black poets, both past and present, while commemorating the birth of Jupiter Hammon, the first published black poet in the United States.

Born on October 17th, 1711, in Long Island, New York, Hammon paved the way for generations of black poets to come. Black Poetry Day serves as a platform to honor his contribution and the contributions of countless other black poets who have used their words to inspire, educate, and promote social change.

This day holds immense cultural and historical importance, emphasizing the value of black heritage and literacy. By recognizing the literary achievements of black poets, we acknowledge their unique perspectives, experiences, and voices. It is an opportunity to appreciate the power of poetry as a tool for expression, connection, and empowerment.

On Black Poetry Day, let us immerse ourselves in the works of black poets, explore their narratives, and celebrate their profound impact on literature and society. It is a day to honor the past, embrace the present, and inspire future generations to continue the rich tradition of black poetry. #BlackPoetryDay


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