WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Maxine Waters was honored with the 2010 Social Justice and Equality Award by the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) during its annual meeting and law firm expo. The award recognizes members of Congress who have worked to promote greater equality and opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses by building relationships with government agencies or public sector groups.
Congresswoman Waters was lauded by NAMWOLF for her work to author and pass legislation creating Offices of Women and Minority Inclusion at the federal government’s financial agencies as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Erinn DePorre, a NAMWOLF law firm member and the moderator of today’s event, introduced the Congresswoman and said, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters has earned a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for people of color and women, most recently exemplified through her championing of legislation that requires federal financial agencies and departments to boost diversity in their organizations and in the companies they contract with and regulate.”
After the Congresswoman delivered remarks and gave a presentation on the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion, NAMWOLF Managing Director Yolanda Coly presented her with the 2010 Social Justice and Equality Award, stating that the Congresswoman’s consistent focus on the inclusion of minorities and women was the driving force behind her receiving the award.
Congresswoman Waters thanked NAMWOLF for this honor and said, “The systemic exclusion of minorities and women in federal financial services contracting is well-known and well-documented. The Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion will make great inroads toward reversing this alarming trend and open up opportunities for the many experienced, capable and intelligent minority and women asset managers, financial analysts, and lawyers who deserve a seat at the table.
She concluded by saying, “I encourage you and your colleagues to arm yourselves with the facts so we can stand up to the voices that seek to distort and lie about what these Offices will do, and to also submit your resumes so the government can harness our nation’s top talent to ensure that opportunities are available and accessible to all.”
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was also honored by NAMWOLF for conducting a survey of Fortune 500 companies which revealed that minority and women owned businesses are still under-represented as suppliers for large corporations, as well as in corporate board rooms and on executive teams.