Berklee City Music Honors First Lady Diane Patrick, Saturday, January 22
Berklee City Music honors Massachusetts first lady Diane Patrick at its eighth annual Unsung Heroes Breakfast, recognizing those who have made significant contributions to the local community as educators, artists, and mentors. Patrick, a lawyer, teacher, and active member of her community, will be the keynote speaker at the event, where she will be honored for her many outstanding contributions in early childhood development and to the legal system.
Berklee City Music's Unsung Heroes Breakfast takes place Saturday, January 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Berklee's David Friend Recital Hall, located at 921 Boylston Street, Boston. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 617 747-6059.
Special guests include Keith P. Jones, disability rights consultant, composer, producer, and hip-hop artist; and Clifford Weeks, director of the Berklee City Music Faculty Outreach Program and the second African American educator to teach in South Boston. They will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Krystal Banfield, Ed.D., senior director of Berklee City Music. The panelists will discuss Boston's busing era, its impact on the city, and the ways the community has since worked to heal itself.
The event also includes performances by the Berklee City Music Preparatory Academy Choir, the City Music All-Stars, and the Hyde Square Task Force Dance Troop.
Diane Patrick has served on the Boards of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay; Jane Doe, Inc.; and Brigham and Women's Hospital, among others. Currently, she serves on the board of the Posse Foundation and is an overseer at the Epiphany School. She has also been an outspoken advocate in the Commonwealth's ongoing effort to end domestic violence.
Patrick spent her early childhood in Brooklyn. Her grandfather was the first African American elected to public office in Brooklyn and co-authored the Baker-Metcalf bill, the nation's first law enacted to prohibit discrimination in public housing. She received her B.A. in early childhood education in 1972, graduating with honors from Queens College of the City University of New York.
After graduation, Patrick spent five years teaching elementary school in New York. When the city's bankruptcy of 1976–77 forced severe cuts in public resources, including her job, she crossed the country to study at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. At Loyola, she began her study of labor and employment law, which she practices today. Her exemplary academic performance and public service won her an American Jurisprudence Award and the school's Outstanding Graduate Award. She received her Juris Doctor in 1980 and was admitted to the California Bar that same year.
Recently engaged to Deval Patrick, she joined the firm of O'Melveny and Myers and in 1983 was asked to assist in the opening of its New York office. The young couple relocated to the East Coast, where Mr. Patrick took a position with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. They were married in 1984. In 1986, a year after the birth of their first daughter Sarah, the Patrick family moved to Massachusetts. Mrs. Patrick took a position at Harvard as university attorney in the Office of General Counsel, where she spent six years before becoming Harvard's director/associate vice president for human resources. In 1994, Patrick took a job with the Washington, D.C. firm Hogan and Hartson, where she worked with both the education and labor and employment law practice groups. She joined the law firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston in 1995.
Berklee City Music is the college's strategic educational initiative that uses contemporary music to reach underserved 4th- to 12th-graders. Programming includes instruction by expert faculty, individualized mentoring, after-school classes, Saturday schooling, summer study, and full-tuition scholarships to attend Berklee at no cost to the students or their families. City Music has provided educational and mentoring opportunities to more than 1,000 local teens from urban areas since 1991. Four years ago, Berklee's City Music Network—launched in 2001—expanded to include partnerships with community organizations nationwide that actively share the goal of changing teenage lives with contemporary music education.