Minnesota Lawyer Diversity & Inclusion Awards recognizes lawyers who go above and beyond in their efforts to create a more diverse and inclusionary community. These individuals have made a significant impact with respect to diversity and inclusion on the greater community.
Firm Founder, Jerry W. Blackwell, and Partner, Corey L. Gordon, spearheaded the Firm’s pro bono initiative to participate in commemorating the 100-year anniversary of lynchings in Duluth, MN, and securing the posthumous pardon of Max Mason.
Jerry Blackwell led the posthumous pardon request for Max Mason, a Black man wrongfully accused of rape 100 years ago, in front of the Minnesota Board of Pardons. Governor Tim Walz, state Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea and Attorney General Keith Ellison approved the posthumous pardon extraordinary of Mason, who served five years in prison after an all-white jury convicted him. This was the first posthumous pardon in Minnesota history.
Firm Attorney and Past President of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL), Spiwe L. Jefferson was recognized for her role in organizing the Silent Protest in Solidarity in Minneapolis in June, along with other MABL members. More than 200 lawyers stood in solidarity during the first court appearance of Derek Chauvin, one of the police officers charged in the death of George Floyd, which has ignited a social justice movement across the globe. In her role as Co-Chair of the MABL Communications Committee, Jefferson also co-led MABL’s issuance of various statements supporting equal access to justice.
About Blackwell Burke P.A.
Blackwell Burke is a certified minority-owned trial firm that represents corporate clients in high stakes class actions, mass torts, MDLs and commercial litigation, both at trial and on appeal. The firm has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top litigation defense firms in the country by BTI, Chambers, Best Lawyers and others. Benchmark Litigation named Blackwell Burke the Minnesota Firm of the Year in each of the last four years.