This year, let our presence be increased and our legacy be manifested.
I am honored to serve as the 2023 President of the esteemed Jackson County Bar Association (“JCBA”). I have had the pleasure to serve on the JCBA Executive Board in different capacities under the leadership of amazing colleagues and friends. As such, I extend a sincere gesture of gratitude to our Immediate Past President, Lesley D. Smith, 2020-2021 President Ebonie Davis, and 2017-2019 President Shaun M. Stallworth. It was truly a pleasure to serve alongside you all. I would also like to thank our membership and our sponsors for your commitment and dedication to JCBA over the years. The Association is steeped in tradition yet eager to grow to new heights.
Lest we forget our mission:
The JCBA is the oldest Black Bar Association in Missouri and was established at a time when African American lawyers were banned from other Bar Associations. The purpose of the JCBA, then and now, is to be a resource for its members; to work to ensure justice and equal opportunity for the African American community; improve the administration of justice; preserve the independence of the judiciary, improve the economic conditions of all citizens of Missouri; uphold the honor of the legal profession; and protect the civil and political rights of the citizens and residents of the State of Missouri.
It is my privilege to lead this mission focused association. I am passionate about the growth of the Black community and the unfortunate fact is that we are still afflicted by ongoing systemic racism and oppression. As Black attorneys, judges, and politicians we assume the duty to serve by using our collective knowledge and experience to combat these challenges for the advancement of our Kansas City communities. I have full faith that the efforts of JCBA will continue to maintain the principles of equality, justice, and harmony.
After being deeply impacted by COVID, we are thankful for the opportunity to gather amongst friends and peers once again. The 2023 JCBA Executive Board’s goal is to engage in a greater capacity with the Greater Kansas City legal and lay communities. We will continue to ensure our high school and law students receive resources and support through mentorship and scholarships that will prepare them for a successful future. Through Law 101, we will continue to serve the lay community by educating and informing individuals about their legal rights and needs. We will continue to provide continuing legal education courses to JCBA members and the Kansas City legal community. We will seek partnership, collaboration, and networking with other Bar Associations to create and maintain viable initiatives.
The Executive Board will also focus on engaging the local law schools through new and existing programs to finding additional ways to contribute to the diversity of our legal community. We have ambitious goals this year, and need your support, time, effort, and financial contributions to achieve them. We welcome comments from all individuals regarding how we may make a positive impact in this community.
Thank you for the extraordinary opportunity to continue to grow our beloved organization to new heights.