Welcome to the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. […]” --Marianne Williamson
Welcome to the 2016-2017 fiscal year of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association! I am honored to return as your President for 2016-2017, and am humbled by this assignment. Thank you for entrusting me with this task for another term, and for allowing me the opportunity to serve my community. We have started good work, and will certainly see it through.
For those of you who were unable to attend our Installation on June 30, 2016, you certainly missed on an amazing evening. The performance from the Viking Freedom Writers, a poetry troupe from Miami Norland Senior High School, reminded us all that social injustice continues to plague our society, and the onus is on us to be the impetus for change. A spotlight has been cast upon our justice system, and has brought to light darkness that some of us may have thought disappeared after the Civil Rights movement. The movement sweeping our nation today, and the cries for justice from the masses, were embodied by the performance of the Freedom Writers. Unfortunately, recent events in Louisiana, and just days later in Minnesota, also solidified the argument the Freedom Writers eloquently rendered last week; the legal community must intercede and be the catalyst for social change.
For more than thirty (30) years GSCBWLA has dutifully carried the torch handed to us by our founding members, and have zealously advocated for change in our profession and in our community at large. For example, last year we joined the Judicial Diversity Initiative (JDI), and since then have championed the cause of increased diversity on the bench. However, we understand this issue is but a microcosm of issues facing our community.
As we advocate for equality in all aspects of our profession, we remain focused on the professional development of our members. Tackling both issues in tandem naturally results in the expeditious accomplishment of both goals. It is our duty to assist in the professional growth of our members, thereby developing our members to become the Shareholders, Partners, Solo Practitioners, Managing Attorneys, City Attorneys, State Attorneys, judges, and leaders they aspire to become. By assisting our member’s evolution and ascension to key leadership positions in our profession, we thereby effectuate change in our profession and our community.
This term, we will renew this endeavor at our Annual Membership and Leadership Retreat taking place on August 12th - 14th, 2016, at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa. By popular demand, we return to this venue for a weekend of planning, bonding, and relaxation. The focus of this year’s Retreat is on Leadership Development. We have exciting workshops planned for you. Stay tuned for additional information regarding the event. Whether you join us for the workshops and luncheon on Saturday, or stay for the entire weekend, you don’t want to miss this Retreat. Make your hotel reservations today; our room-block ends on July 22, 2016.
To our members, we are here to aid in your development. We believe you can aspire to heights beyond those dreamt of. Now is the time to blaze our own trail, to run with the torch and evolve beyond measure or comprehension.
Yours In Service,
Loreal A. Arscott
President of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association