Welcome to the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women
Building on Our Legacy: Developing the Whole Lawyer
In my mind, Black History Month may be all about the answer to that one searing question: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
Initially penned in the bestselling book, Who Moved My Cheese?, and more recently attributed to the book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, pondering that question should take us to some interesting places when we think about it in the context of celebrating Black History.
Black History Month may have started in these United States, but make no mistake about it, its origins go beyond our current shores. . . . Black History Month is about men, women and children whose lives were lost before, during and after the Middle Passage. It is about the strength and resolve of those survivors who unwillingly tendered their bodies, blood, sweat and tears to work a land they knew not.
Black History Month is about the resiliency of a people who – when instinctively asking themselves the question “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?” – pressed on in the face of grave and certain danger to create “something out of nothing”. This month is about the courage of a people acting even in the face of unimaginable, often well-founded fear. Yet, somehow – by grace, mercy and favor – here we stand.
One source says this month “ is the annual celebration of [the] achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of Blacks in U.S. History.” Yes, and Black History Month is about family, excellence, sacrifice, service, survival, servant leadership, advocacy, driving change, culture, the arts, music and so much more.
While we have come this far by faith with actions, we know there is more to do. In fact, this month we reflect on our journey to now by embracing Black History as Our History … that is American history.
We also stand in giants’ shadows in doing what we can to move that history forward. Whether we protest with signs, songs, or chants, or we “protest” with a law degree and the fortitude to drive change from the inside out, we are still positively answering the question, “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”
So join us this month as we pay homage to the past, present and future through service, servant leadership, driving change, collaboration, the arts and more!
On February 3rd we pay it forward at the 14th Annual Minority Mentoring Picnic. Join us as we work to build relationships with our future lawyers and one another. We will also host a seminar, “Brand You: Dressing for Professional Success”. See you at Zoo Miami!
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission’s Ft. Lauderdale Public Hearing is the backdrop to our February 6th Board Meeting at Nova Southeastern University. Join us and the community-at-large as GSCBWLA shares its thoughts to help drive change on select key issues facing our state on the November 2018 ballot.
We look forward to spending some quality time in our Miami-Dade County classrooms during the 2018 African-American Read-In slated for February 7th reading books to engage the imaginations of our future leaders and lawyers. Next, we take a page out of pop culture by exploring the complexity that is Black History and civil rights advocacy in collaboration with the ACLU and others during the February 15th discussion, “Civil Rights Through the Lens of Hip Hop: Jay-Z’s 4:44” at the University of Miami School of Law.
We will join A Celebration of the Black Legal Community: Broward’s Legal Firsts on February 16th; conduct our first Rainmakers Academy session on February 17th; mentor at Lillie C. Evans K-8 School and dance with the incomparable Alvin Ailey on February 23rd; welcome Florida Bar Executive Direction Josh Doyle to South Florida on February 27th; and join the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Mid-Year Meeting on February 28th-March 2nd.
Thank you to each of you, our GSCBWLA members and supporters, who daily answer the question courageously, “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?” We see you making history!
Nikki Lewis Simon