Name: Akosua Barthwell Evans
Yale Affiliation: ’90 JD
Where you live: Detroit, Michigan
What you do: I am the CEO of The Barthwell Group, a boutique strategic management consulting firm. I am also an attorney.
Your family: I am divorced and the mother of a wonderful son, Walter K. Evans, a Stanford alum and the COO of our firm.
Other Yale volunteer work: I am a member of the AYA Board of Governors. Formerly, I served on the Yale Law School Executive Committeeand the Yale Law School Fund Board, and the board of the Yale Black Alumni Association. I have been involved consistently since graduating in 1990. I also coordinated the first Yale Day of Service in Detroit in 2018.
Something we might not know about you: I am working on writing two books. One tells the story of my father, Sidney Barthwell, a pioneer African-American business person who was born in a small Georgia town where there were no public schools for African-Americans,but who went on to build a chain of 13 drugstores and an ice cream company with more than 15 flavors. The best thing about him was his wisdom, kindness, and sense of humor.
Favorite Yale memory: I have many. I went back to law school, a divorced single mom with a six-year old. What I always valued was the fairness and kindness of my classmates. I felt that if you could document your position, everyone was willing to listen and be open-minded regardless of their political persuasion. This led me to approach the parents of one of my classmates at graduation and compliment them on how open-minded and liberal their son was. They replied,“Whatdo you mean? Our son is a staunch Republican.” On another occasion, my classmates helped me organize a swimming party for the birthday of my son. I was honored to graduate as a Co-Marshal of my class.
Which two Yale women would you ask to join you for lunch and why: This is an unfair question, as there are so many. I would select Nancy Stratford ’77 because I am also impressed by her knowledge and yet willingness to learn. The other would be Ursula Burton’88 because I enjoyed worked with her so much on the webinar, Access and Impact of Women on Corporate Boards, that I moderated for YaleWomen. I think there are so many women who are so interesting. I wish we could just have an informal meeting to learn more about each other.