NLADA to Honor Leander Dolphin, Managing Partner at Shipman & Goodwin & Dr. Marvin Carr, Director of Walmart's Racial Equity Center with the Courageous Leader Award.

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Release Date: 
Friday, October 14, 2022

NLADA to Honor Leander Dolphin, Managing Partner at Shipman & Goodwin & Dr. Marvin Carr, Director of Walmart's Racial Equity Center with the Courageous Leader Award.


Washington – The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) Racial Equity Initiative is pleased to announce the 2022 Courageous Leader Award recipients: Leander Dolphin, managing partner at Shipman & Goodwin, and Dr. Marvin Carr, a director in the Center for Racial Equity.  

“It takes courage and commitment to advance racial equity within our organizations and the broader community in the face of adversity. Leander and Dr. Carr are both outstanding leaders in the corporate community who are dedicated to making lasting change in our society,” said NLADA President & CEO April Frazier Camara. “It is an honor to recognize them both with the NLADA Courageous Leader Award.” 

The Courageous Leader Award is given annually to racial equity leaders who are committed to advancing anti-racist values. It recognizes the dedicated advocacy of trailblazers who model the commitment and courage that it takes to advance meaningful, lasting change. 

Dolphin is the first African-American woman to serve as managing partner at Shipman & Goodwin. Under her tenure, Shipman & Goodwin, for the second consecutive year, earned the highest designation of Mansfield Rule Certification in recognition of its commitment to enhancing diversity among its leadership. 

“It is an honor and privilege to be presented with this award. It is my duty, along with the responsibility of every leader, to foster racial equity in our workplaces and communities,” said Dolphin. “I deeply respect the work of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association and its commitment to realizing, advancing and cultivating equity, and am thankful to represent a law firm that strives for equity and inclusion every day.” 

Dr. Marvin Carr served as a Policy Advisor to the White House under President Obama and enhanced STEM and Innovation through projects like My Brother's Keeper Initiative. As the current director in the Center for Racial Equity, he played a key role in funding black-led organizations such as the Black Public Defender Association, the National Judicial College, Girls Embracing Mothers, the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and the Legal Action Center of New York.   

“Supporting the legal professionals working to address racial inequity aligns with the Center for Racial Equity’s work to support communities in their efforts to prevent young Americans at the highest risk of criminal justice involvement from entering the cycle of incarceration,” said Dr. Marvin Carr, Director, Center for Racial Equity. “This work also aligns with my own personal mission to provide more on-ramps to opportunities for young people across our nation. This includes investments like those Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made focused on shifting the narrative to move upstream in the cycle of incarceration by preventing criminal justice involvement for youth in the first place.” 

The NLADA Courageous Leader Award was created in 2021 as a part of the launch of the NLADA Racial Equity Initiative. This Initiative is a three-year campaign designed to build the resources and capacity within the NLADA community to advance anti-racist practices to dismantle racial inequities in America. 

Previous Courageous Leader Award winners include Dr. Danette Howard, University of Southern California Race and Equity Center; Malcolm Jenkins, former National Football League Player; and the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance. 

Dolphin and Dr. Carr will be honored during the 2022 Courageous Leaders Awards celebration on October 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.  

For more information about the NLADA Racial Equity Initiative or the Courageous Leader Awards, please contact Rabiah A. Burks, [email protected].  


The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local levels. A leader in the development of national standards for civil legal aid and public defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.