HOUSTON - A Houston attorney has made history and this Black History Month we’re excited to tell you all about it. South Texas College of Law Houston has been standing for 99 years, and now it has its first female and first Black Chair of the Board of Directors.
It’s where every picture of the former Chair of the Board for South Texas College of Law Houston hangs. When you see it, you’ll certainly notice something about all the photos.
"Every leader of our board of directors has been a white male," explains South Texas College of Law Houston Dean Michael Barry.
Until now, that is; longtime Houston attorney Genora Boykins now holds that title. She was an attorney for Reliant Energy and NRG for 31 years and actually graduated from South Texas College of Law Houston in 1985.
Boykins says she’s excited to encourage students who can now see themselves reflected in leadership and says she accepted the appointment because she really wants to make a difference and she just so happened to make history in the process.
"What it says is that we’ve made enough progress that everybody is not only welcome here as a student but can come back and serve and give their time on behalf of the school that will afford them the opportunity to become lawyers," says Boykins.
"South Texas is a school that supports and embraces diversity and I love the fact that our students will be able to look and see someone to whom they can aspire," adds Dean Barry. "Genora is a woman of great capability and great character and I trust her to provide guidance and leadership to this school."
"It was not a very diverse student body," explains Boykins. "It was clearly not even a very diverse faculty, just the challenges that I faced, the isolation that I felt."
In the nearly 100 years since the school was founded the board chair’s photo has been placed on the wall after their term.
"And I’ve asked them to change that policy because I want to recognize and celebrate the event of having Genora be the chair of our board" says Dean Barry. "So her picture is hanging here now. Genora is the first female and the first African American (Chair) and represents a recognition that not only has south Texas evolved to embrace diversity but also as a recognition that our legal profession has more work to do. It is important that our legal system represent the community that it serves."
"It’s very important for us as a community and as a city and as a nation to really understand that we are so much better when we value the diversity that we all have," concludes Boykins.