I am excited to say that we hit the ground running in 2018 with great programs, participation, and energy! Here are some quick highlights:
January: Saturday Lawyer Day sponsorship for the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation; Induction ceremony and reception for new officers and section leaders; Black Law Students retreat at King & Spalding
February: A.T. Walden Civil Rights Project Kick-off with event at the Georgia State University College of Law; Black History Month Program and Past Presidents’ Reception; “Dinner and Conversation” at my home with nearly 50 young attorneys and special guests Monica Howard Douglas (Coca Cola), Meka B. Ward (The Home Depot), Christina Hadley Tanner (AmericasMart Atlanta), and Justin Tanner (Verizon).
March: Brother to Brother March Madness Event at Mbar; Women’s History Month Dinner at Maggiano’s in Buckhead; Excellence Through Education with Keen R. S. Nix.
As I look forward to our spring activities, my determination for us to realize BETTER, is stronger than ever. BETTER in our commitment to the mission of the Gate City Bar Association (“GCBA”); BETTER in our community engagement; BETTER in honoring our past. Many of you, through your conversation and actions thus far, have demonstrated your desire to realize BETTER in your personal and professional lives and BETTER for GCBA. Others of you have asked how you may get involved with this drive towards BETTER, while others are still questioning why you should get involved. To those of you who are still questioning, I say “JUMP UP AND LET’S GO”; we need all hands on deck.
We are a body of diverse legal professionals with varied talents, abilities and gifts. Individually, each of us zealously advocates for our clients’ interests and take no prisoners. However, in focusing on our own individual advancement, some of us isolate ourselves and miss out on opportunities to allow others to help us to achieve our BETTER. This self-imposed isolation also keeps us from helping our broader community and our legal profession to realize BETTER as well.
The truth is very simple: we need each other. In failing to seek the advice of other attorneys, I made mistakes, felt defeated and lost at times. I am grateful to those attorneys who have allowed me to be transparent and to show that I don’t always have it together. I am grateful to those who have encouraged me when I do well. These people have been there for me in the past and are now pushing me to achieve my BETTER, and I found them in the community of the Gate City Bar Association.
In addition to helping me to achieve my individual BETTER, GCBA has provided opportunities for engagement with volunteerism so that I could help others achieve their BETTER. Through programs such as our Brother to Brother mentoring program, our black law student retreats, and our Community Law Clinic, I have been able to contribute in ways that I could not have if I stayed on the sidelines. Guess what? These opportunities still exist for you.
April is going to be another great month of programming that will give you avenues to connect: Our Paralegal Reception and Symposium on April 5th; Half-day Symposium at Kilpatrick Townsend to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and High Museum viewing on April 13th. Don’t miss out.
What BETTER do you need to realize in 2018? What are you supposed to do that you just don’t know how to? Where are you supposed to go, but are unclear as to your path forward. Who are we going to impact as a body of legal professionals? Whatever it is, let’s get there together as a community. Let’s make this BETTER happen.