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City Bar Announces 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Winners

The New York City Bar Association has announced the winners of its 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Awards. They are: Dennis C. Hopkins Partner, Perkins Coie LLP Justice Rosalyn Richter – Associate Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department Conway S. Ekpo & Joseph A. Tillman – Founding Members of 1844 The awards will be presented at the Diversity and Inclusion Celebration Dinner on June 22nd. The award recognizes the critical role individual attorneys have played in initiating and sustaining change within their organizations and the overall New York legal community. The award recipients embody the New York City Bar Association’s Statement of Diversity Principles, which defines diversity as an inclusive concept, encompassing race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, disability and marital and parental status. Dennis C. Hopkins Mr. Hopkins is active in many professional, community and legal associations. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Advisory Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York and the New York City Bar Fund Board. He is deeply committed to guiding and grooming the next generation of lawyers and serves on the board of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, a mentoring organization. In 2014, the Counsel of Urban Professionals named Mr. Hopkins one of its Catalysts, designating him “Change Agent – Law” and he is a Fellow in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. He is a Board Member of the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor High School Judicial Internship Program. Justice Rosalyn Richter Justice Richter is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, and has been a state court judge for over 25 years. She is involved in a wide range of diversity initiatives, and is a member of the City Bar’s Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession, where she chairs the subcommittee on Diversity in the Judiciary. She chairs the City Bar Honors Committee, and is the former chair of the City Bar Committee on Women and the Law, and the Committee on Lesbians and Gays in the Profession. In conjunction with Pencil, she established an ongoing partnership with the MLK High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice, and organized a mock oral argument for high school students which was recently held at the First Department. She is a member of the board of SAGE USA, a non-profit that addresses aging issues in the LGBT community. She also is a member of the Permanent Commission on Justice for Children. For over a decade, Justice Richter co-chaired OCA’s Advisory Committee on the Americans with Disabilities Act, a committee she helped establish, and she continues to participate in CLE programs on disability access in the courts. Prior to her appointment to the state court bench, she was Executive Director of Lambda Legal, an ADA, and an ALJ with a NYC agency. Conway S. Ekpo & Joseph A. Tillman Conway S. Ekpo & Joseph A. Tillman are Founding Members of 1844, a group of nearly 60 Black male lawyers who primarily practice in New York City’s Vault 100 law firms. The name “1844” is a reference to the year that the first Black attorney, Macon Bolling Allen, was admitted to practice law in America. The members of 1844 have leveraged the power of their relationships to not only benefit themselves with client and job referrals, but they have also given back to the community by mentoring minority law students on career advice and helping them pass the bar exam, putting on police encounter/civil rights workshops for minority youth in Harlem, and by forming their own venture capital fund and investing in minority-owned businesses. Mr. Ekpo is a 2016 Council of Urban Professionals Fellow, a judge for the National Black Law Students Association’s national moot court competition, Treasurer of the Nigerian Lawyers Association, a guest speaker for the Legal Outreach PACT program, and a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is also an adjunct law professor at Rutgers School of Law, where he teaches New York civil practice. Mr. Tillman is an associate in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, representing clients in various corporate law and regulatory matters with a focus on the private equity industry. He serves on Gibson Dunn’s Diversity Committee as well as the firm-wide Hiring Committee. Mr. Tillman has made a lasting impact on the New York legal community both through his active participation in the diversity efforts at Gibson Dunn, as well as through his public service in the community. As Co-Chair of the Firm’s Race and Ethnicity Subcommittee, he has spearheaded several important community outreach and professional development initiatives in the office. He has served as a panelist and participant during various events, including, but not limited to, networking panels, resume building workshops, career advancement forums, fireside chats and casual outings. In addition to his work at Gibson Dunn, Joseph has served as a mentor to many young lawyers and students of color, and has volunteered at a wide array of community organizations. He is one of the founding members of the Brooklyn Tabernacle College Prep Ministry, serves on the Board of, and currently serves as counsel to, Pipeline to Practice, Inc., and is a former member of the City Bar’s Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee. More information can be found here. For further information about the Award or Celebration, please contact Monica Parks by email or at (212) 382-6772.