Happy New Year!
It is with extreme excitement and heartfelt humility that I greet you as GABWA‘s 41st President. Over the past 40 years, GABWA‘s members, fueled by purpose, have steadfastly supported and galvanized one another both professionally and personally, served as disruptors and zealous advocates for issues surrounding women and children and served tirelessly and passionately to blaze trails, all while uplifting and serving their communities. Coming off of the wildly successful year with Immediate Past President Miracle Rankin at the helm, we celebrated GABWA‘s 40th Anniversary and exhibited in royal fashion that GABWA is indeed Q.U.E.E.N.
uring one of Dr. King’s final speeches, he was quoted as saying: “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Dr. King used his voice to advocate for equality, equity and the civil rights for African Americans and other disadvantaged populations. GABWA too is an organization rooted in the same level of passion and commitment to serve its members and impact the communities in which she serves throughout Georgia. Founded in 1981 by a group of forward-thinking trailblazers, Former Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane and GABWA’s angel Judge Barbara A. Harris, these three founders along with a dedicated group of founding members, were no doubt guided by the principle of service, advocacy and community and created a space to support and uplift fellow black female attorneys across the state of Georgia while
1) focusing on women and children’s issues,
2) working to increase black female representation in the judiciary and public offices, and
3) taking a proactive stance on political issues.
In continuation GABWA’s strong legacy of service and community-building, the 2022 theme Many voices, one mission: connecting, serving and empowering our community.” This year, we will work on five key initiatives:
MEMBER CONNECTION: bringing members together to support, uplift, and connect with one another through various virtual, in-person and hybrid events.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: planning and engaging in monthly initiatives and community service activities to empower our communities and support the GABWA Foundation and other community partners.
VOTER EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY: providing educational and advocacy opportunities for members and the community at large surrounding access to voting issues, awareness regarding current and proposed legislation impacting our communities and key elections during 2022.
TECHNOLOGY: focusing on enhancing the functionality of the website and other organizational technology to expand the reach of and connectivity to GABWA’s programming and initiatives.
HEALTH and WELLNESS: hosting multiple sessions throughout to focus on helping and empowering members to focus on a comprehensive approach to mental and physical wellbeing.
As you can see, we have an exciting and impactful year ahead with member connectivity and community building and impact in mind. I thus invite each of you to join GABWA in the above initiatives by:
1) becoming a member or renewing your membership (become a member today by clicking here);
2) getting involved and staying connected; and
3) sharing your ideas and thoughts on how we may be of greater service to you and our community,
We are a community filled with professional excellence and unique and diverse talents and skill sets. Together we will continue to galvanize one another, reach new heights and positively impact our communities. Like Amanda Gorman’s sentiment in her poem, “New Day’s Lyric,” I look forward to us “com[ing] together” in service, advocacy and community-building in the year ahead. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, get to work and serve!
Yours continually in service,
Shiriki Cavitt Jones