On November 11, 2021, NLRB Board Member Gwynne A. Wilcox was presented with the Honorable Bernice B. Donald Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession Award at the 15th Annual American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference in Beverly Hills, California.
The award is given to a member, law firm, corporation, organization, or academic institution “that has demonstrated leadership in and commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession.”
“Thank you to the award committee for this great honor. As a new Board member, I am committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion internally at the Board as well as ensuring the National Labor Relations Board is accessible to underserved communities,” said Member Wilcox during her award acceptance speech. “As the first Black woman to serve as an NLRB Board member, I hope to be an inspiration to others. It is essential that the NLRB and other governmental agencies be representative of our country’s diverse workforce.”
“This award speaks volumes about Member Wilcox’s lifelong commitment to justice,” said Chairman McFerran. “I’m proud to have her as a colleague and know she will continue tremendously influence the Board’s work on these important issues throughout her appointment.”
The award is named after Honorable Bernice B. Donald, a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Before her elevation, Judge Donald sat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. She previously served as Judge of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee, becoming the first African American woman to serve as a bankruptcy judge. In 1982, she was elected to the General Sessions Criminal Court, where she became the first African American woman to serve as a judge in the history of the State of Tennessee.