Black female prosecutors bring intersectional experience to the courtroom. As women of color they bring varied backgrounds, in-depth knowledge and often close connections to the communities they work in. They also face challenges unlikely to be understood by those around them. Black women prosecutors must face the stigma in their own communities that comes from working in the prosecutor’s office. This can be isolating.
Six years after the founding of the Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation, more than fourteen awardees later and a fellowship now in place, it’s time to create a formal network for our #SCWLFCommunity.
On June 1st, the Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation launched the Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Network: The Journey to Becoming a Prosecutor (and beyond). With its home in a Facebook group, this moderated page now serves as a community not only for our new scholarship awardees studying for the bar and our fellows, but our former awardees who have already begun their careers in the prosecutor’s office. Additionally, we plan to include current Black female prosecutors outside of the foundation and thought-leaders in the justice sphere.
We realize that now, more than ever, fostering a community of awardees and fellows is necessary. In many ways, Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation awardees have been creating this network for themselves since our inception.
During our Fireside Chat with BU Law this past February, a 2020 Scholarship awardee, Amber Ebanks reflected on the pressures of being a Black woman in the justice field.
“I’m often the darkest face in the room and so that often comes with a sense of responsibility to be the best and to represent black women in a positive light.”
She hasn’t faced this pressure alone though. Saying, she’s “been grateful to be able to connect with some of the other scholarship recipients through my time at the DOJ and through LinkedIn…”
The foundation took Amber’s words to heart.
The launch of a formal Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Network: The Journey to Becoming a Prosecutor (and beyond) will only make this community easier to foster.
In Njeri Mathis Rutledge’s recent USA Today op-ed, she writes of the struggles of being a Black woman in the prosecutor’s office. Despite the difficulty Rutledge writes of, she insists the role of Black women in these positions of power is ever-growing and extremely important. Because of the challenges and the career’s enormous importance, we realize it’s not enough to only financially support our awardees. We must foster a formal community and network for them.
The Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Network posts regular articles, community bonding questions and will offer networking/mentoring sessions to members. As our awardee community grows, so will the Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation Network.