5:30 PM to 7:00 PM EST
The WBA’s Discussing Racism & Being Anti-Racist Toolkit (the “Toolkit”) can be found here. The Toolkit is a comprehensive (although not exhaustive) collection of resources currently available. It offers a range of written materials, opportunities, and tools for readers to learn about race and systemic racism in the U.S. and how to become and be anti-racist, in support of the WBA’s call for members and the community to begin the work of dismantling systemic racism.
When available, the WBA has provided source links. The WBA encourages readers to borrow books from a local library or to purchase from a local Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC)-owned independent bookseller.
The WBA will update the Toolkit periodically, and plans to use it as a springboard for internal and external-facing programming. The WBA encourages readers to share the Toolkit widely throughout the WBA membership and broader community.
Welcome WBA Members, Allies, and Friends!
What an honor to be serving as WBA President for the 2020-21 Bar year. Thank you for entrusting me with the stewardship of this important and historic organization.
These are extraordinary and trying times, and the WBA is committed to being an active and valuable resource for our own members and our larger community. As we grapple with the effects of this global pandemic and continue to see the real and terrible consequences of systemic racism in our society, we cannot be complacent even as we largely remain out of public spaces.
In service to this goal, the theme for the 2020-21 Bar year is The Importance of Allies and Friends. The WBA’s programming will prioritize this theme in the following ways.
Being Better Allies. Especially during these challenging times, we must become better allies. The WBA will host programs and listening sessions focused on the obligations white, heterosexual, and/or cisgender lawyers have to support others. As lawyers and professionals, we have significant privileges, power, and skills that we can and must use to advance the interests of marginalized individuals and communities.
Encouraging and Educating Allies. Consider this a personal invitation to our male allies, who support us in our careers and regularly attend our celebrations and substantive programming: join us! Become WBA members. Please share with your colleagues, clients, and network that you believe in advancing the interests of women lawyers. Broadcast that you are an ally. The WBA will be developing programming focused on how we can help allies like you be better allies - to us, and to the rest of the community.
Celebrating and Growing Friendships. During our annual celebration (held virtually on May 20, 2020), we heard a portion of an oral history previously recorded by our late past president Pat Gurne. She commented then, as she often did, that lifelong friendships are built here. Encouraging a spirit of friendship is actually part of our mission statement. Particularly while we remain physically distanced, the WBA will look for ways to nurture and honor our friendships.
WBA membership is not limited to women, nor is it limited to licensed, practicing attorneys. If you are part of the legal community, support our mission, and want to be part of our efforts during this Bar year, please join us! Most of our events are open to non-members, and we encourage you to participate.
Let’s get to work.
News and Highlights
Our panelists candidly and thoughtfully discussed this lack of diversity and provided their thoughts regarding actions that can be taken to effect real change.
The WBA is recognizing law firms with 100% WBA membership among their female lawyers. The WBA is committed to advancing the interests of women lawyers, and we applaud law firms that share this commitment and demonstrate it by encouraging WBA membership. This month, we thank Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C. and KaiserDillon PLLC for being All-In for Women! If your firm (or office or practice group, in the case of a larger firm) is interested in being All-In for Women, please contact the WBA Membership Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maintaining the honor and integrity of the profession; promoting the administration of justice; advancing and protecting the interests of women lawyers; promoting their mutual improvement; and encouraging a spirit of friendship.
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