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Northeast Human Resources Association
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NEHRA D&I Gala 2018 Press Release
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Anita Hill to Headline Sold Out Diversity & Inclusion Awards Gala in Boston on March 22nd

Global Head of Diversity for Wellington Management and Mass Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) named 2018 Diversity Champions


Concord, MA January 31, 2018 -


The Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA) announced Wednesday that their 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Awards Gala will feature Anita Hill in a fireside chat. Hill is known for her groundbreaking advocacy work that has helped raise nationwide awareness of sexual harassment.


Hill has written two books, her biography, “Speaking Truth to Power,” and “Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home.” She also has been published by numerous news outlets, including Newsweek, The New York Times and the Boston Globe, and has appeared on several national television programs, including “Good Morning America,” Meet the Press” and NBC’s “Today Show”.


Hill chaired the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association, and has served on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center, the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. She also recently was chosen by Hollywood executives to chair the newly formed Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.


She is currently a professor at Brandeis University and serves as counsel with the law firm Cohen Milstein, where she advises on class-action workplace discrimination cases.


"We are honored to have Anita Hill at our Diversity Awards Gala” said Tracy Burns, CEO of NEHRA. “Given our current climate, we could not think of a more appropriate person to headline our event this year.”


The Awards Gala will also feature the presentation of the 2018 Frank X. McCarthy Diversity Champions. This year Shawna Ferguson, Managing Director, Global Diversity & Inclusion at Wellington Management will be honored as the Individual Diversity Champion, while the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) will be recognized as NEHRA’s Organizational Diversity Champion.


“Relentless, courageous and collaborative. These are just some of the words used by the nominating committee to describe Shawna.” stated Ed Hurley-Wales, VP of Market Diversity for ADP and NEHRA’s Board President. “She was instrumental in the early years of NEHRA’s Diversity & Inclusion Community Forum, which continues to run largely due to the foundation Shawna helped build. We are delighted to recognize her for the many years of work and dedication towards D&I both as a diversity leader in the workplace and in her community.”


In addition to her role at Wellington Management, Shawna is also involved as a Career Coach and Mentor for the Posse Foundation and is an Advisory Board Member for the Noonan Foundation, an organization that supports high achieving low-income students of color.



“I am thrilled that committee is recognizing MIRA as this year’s Organizational D&I Champion Award.”, stated Paula Parnagian, Manager of Diversity & Inclusion at Eversource Energy (and a member of NEHRA’s D&I Steering Committee). “Much like the situation today, MIRA was forged at a time when the climate was becoming increasingly unwelcoming to new comers. MIRA created a national model for this work and today continues its critical efforts to support and protect the rights of immigrants and refugees.”


MIRA is a respected leader on immigrant issues at the state and national levels, and an authoritative source of information and policy analysis for policymakers, advocates, immigrant communities and the media. As the largest coalition in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees, they work to advance this mission through education and training, leadership development, institutional organizing, strategic communications, policy analysis and advocacy.


MIRA is a dynamic and multi‐ethnic coalition with more than 130 organizational members, including grassroots community organizations; refugee resettlement agencies; providers of social, legal and health services, faith-based organizations and civil and human rights advocates. They organize and empower their members and allies, and together we mobilize immigrant communities to advocate for themselves, and amplify and support their voices.


Thanks to the generosity of their partners, NEHRA will once again award $15,000 in college scholarships to three local high school students in celebration of their academic achievement, strong community service, and overall dedication to promoting harmony among diverse groups.


The event will take place on March 22nd beginning at 5:30 PM at the Estate Room, 60 State Street in Boston.




Media Contact: Sara Frank,, 781-239-8711.


About Northeast Human Resources Association


Founded over 30 years ago and with more than 2,100 members, NEHRA is the largest, most influential professional HR organization in the Northeast. NEHRA’s goal is to help HR professionals gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful by supporting professional certification, providing relevant and timely educational programs, offering access to tools and resources, and creating opportunities to build meaningful relationships with peers and thought leaders. NEHRA is also considered a leader in the Boston Community as it relates to matters of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. For more information, visit


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