Foley & Lardner continues to build a national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to support its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. All of the firm’s 22 U.S. offices have engaged with local Clubs on programs and initiatives that are responsive to the Clubs’ needs in that community — with a focus on activating the potential of kids and building more inclusive and equitable futures.
As we grow our partnership with BGCA, we identified our Foley-BGCA Author Series as another way to bring our offices together with their Clubs.
We were thrilled to feature 11-year-old Zahra Bryan at our first author series event held on Thursday, February 23, live at the Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade, Hank Kline Unit. The event was also live-streamed to Clubs in several other Foley locations, and recorded for more of our Clubs to enjoy in the coming weeks.
Zahra, who is from Nassau, Bahamas, wrote Black Girl Magic: A Book About Loving Yourself Just the Way You Are, which is a best seller on several lists. Her mission – and the theme of her book – is “to help Black girls everywhere on their journey to revealing their magical beauty and celebrating their uniqueness!”
The 75 Club kids who attended the live event in Miami – all first-grade students – were so excited to meet Zahra and receive a copy of her book. And Zahra took the time to sign all of them on-site during the event.
After introductions from Miami associate Crystal Carswell, the event kicked off with the playing of a recorded reading from Zahra of her book. This was followed by a lively Q&A with Zahra moderated by 13-year-old Leslie Valle, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Miami-Dade, Hank Kline Unit.
Zahra answered all sorts of questions – many submitted by Club kids from across the country – about what inspired her book and love of writing, the process of writing a book, what has been the most surprising part of her journey as an author, her favorite book (and color and animal), why it’s important for kids to read, other interests that she has, and more.
During the Q&A, Leslie asked the question “What messages are important to convey to your readers” and this is what Zahra had to say:
Our New York office hosted a pizza party and viewed the live-stream at the Jersey City Boys & Girls Club, where the kids each received a copy of Zahra’s book and were very engaged during the event. Our Washington, D.C. and Boston offices held similar viewing events at their local Clubs.
While this began as simply an author series, we came away with lifelong friends in Zahra and her family. Foley looks forward to featuring more authors and engaging with our Clubs across the country throughout the coming year and beyond.