Celebrating Black History Month with Reflection & Inspiration

As part of our Black History Month celebration, Dilworth attorneys share their personal reflections and stories about what Black History Month means to them, honoring someone who has inspired them, and so much more.

Jaleelah Abdulai Jaleelah Abdulai

""As a Ghanaian immigrant who grew up in America, drawing from West African and African American culture has served as one of my greatest strengths throughout my personal and professional life. As an attorney, my multi-cultural background allows me to not only better connect to and represent an array of clients but also provides me with a unique perspective on legal issues. African Americans comprise only 5% of all U.S. attorneys, a figure that has remained stagnant for the past decade. Black attorneys encourage those in the African diaspora to pursue a career in the law and to drive positive institutional and societal changes within the legal field and beyond. A celebration of Black history month would be incomplete without thanking my family, friends and mentors who have supported me in life and in my legal career.""

Michelle Lee Michelle Lee

""Black History Month is a time of celebration and reflection. As I celebrate and reflect on my own history, I recall that my grandmother knew her grandparents who were enslaved. Her grandfather was the grandson-slave of a ranking officer in the American Revolution. Her grandfather had stories about the American Revolution, and lived through the Civil War and WWI - major events in history that highlight the complexities of what freedom means in America. Despite his upbringing, he passed on the spirit of hope, innovation, compassion, and perseverance to the generations that followed. When I decided to become a lawyer, I knew that I wanted to retain these messages and use them in my work, and continue to do so. My clients see and appreciate this. I feel fortunate to have been welcomed into a firm like Dilworth, because I know we share the same values that my great-great grandfather passed on.""

Chris Nana-Sinkam Chris Nana-Sinkam

""For me, Black History Month is an opportunity for reflection and recommitment. As the son of a Cameroonian diplomat, I spent much of my childhood growing up in Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo, which exposed me to a very different black experience from many of my colleagues and friends who grew up here in the U.S. Even so, that experience instilled in me a sense of pride and perseverance. Pride for my roots and ancestors who paved the path and opened the doors to bring me to where I am today, and the perseverance to pick up that mantle and continue advancing those virtues of equality, respect, and opportunity. These values allow me to connect with my clients on a personal level and better understand the unique challenges they each face. In reflecting on my journey and the countless friends, mentors, and strangers who helped get me here, I’m reminded and recommit myself to the importance and responsibility of picking up and carrying the torch forward. None of us got here alone, and we must ensure that both our successors and contemporaries understand they have a village to lean on.""

Carmen Rivera Carmen Rivera

""Black History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the triumphs of Black Americans. As I reflect on the historic inequities faced by Black Americans, many of which still exist today, I am reminded of the countless sacrifices made by those who came before me. I am comforted by the spirits of my ancestors and recognize that I stand on the shoulders of giants who paved the way for me to become the first attorney in my family – a member of the elite 5% of Black attorneys in America. In celebrating the richness that is Black culture, the seasoning to American history, I am encouraged to continue to fight the good fight so that I may pass the torch forward to future generations of Black attorneys. I am Black History.""