African American Business Leaders Council Awards Constance Nelson
Constance K. Nelson was recently named the 2018 African American Business Leaders Award recipient by the African American Business Leaders Council. Nelson was recognized for her significant contribution to the community and business world.
Through her professionalism and leadership, Attorney Nelson has not only been a visible leader in the African American community, but also one who takes action. Connie finds her grassroots work with local organizations provide for an opportunity to make a direct impact on families in Lehigh and Northampton Counties affected by domestic violence and abuse, homelessness, and poverty. While local families of all races and backgrounds are affected by these circumstances, Connie, as an accomplished member of the African American community, finds that she can show how hard
work, dedication, and humility can produce success.
In Pennsylvania, criminal charges, including those that did not result in convictions, are publicly available online. The presence of a criminal charge on one’s record can lead to discrimination creating a significant barrier to employment, housing, and education. A court summary or “rap sheet”, an arrest photo, and fingerprint cards are all examples of criminal history record information. An expungement is the permanent removal of public criminal history record information. In 2017, Connie created Gross McGinley’s weekly Expungement Clinic on the first Friday of every month during which she voluntarily (pro bono) provides guidance through the expungement process. Several of the individuals she has helped have been members of the African American community looking to clean their record so that they may move onward and upwards.
Connie served as an adjunct professor at Northampton Community College in its Criminal Justice Department. She believes in the value of providing the tools necessary for each student to excel. Attorney Nelson also recognized that not all students are good test-takers and believed that effort and hard work were to be valued as well as evaluations. Therefore, she provided numerous opportunities for her students to earn passing grades while ensuring their comprehension of the material.
Connie has had an impressive career and is continually striving to advance both professionally and personally. In her legal practice, she represents individuals and businesses in litigation matters, counseling families in divorce and family law matters as well as criminal matters. She also assists families in estate matters as well, ensuring the wishes of individuals are carried out through wills, powers of attorney, and advanced medical directives. Connie is a recognized leader in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Third Street Alliance for Women and Children as well as North Penn Legal Services and the Bar Association of Lehigh County.
An affiliate of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the African American Business Leaders Council strives to lead economic empowerment as well as foster and recognized excellence in the African American Business community. The recent awards gala event helped raise funds for the Council’s scholarship program.