“We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be.
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free.
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation,
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation.”
The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gordon

In recognition of Black History Month, WLALA recognizes that awareness is but the first step in the process of change. WLALA remains committed to continue its work to create a Board and membership that reflects the rich diversity of the Los Angeles community we represent and serve. We recognize that the actual work of change is hard and we are committed to consciously and deliberately instituting change in our organization. 

The goal is to learn about each other so that we can better understand each other, join together and stand up against racism and injustice.  One important aspect of this is to recognize the emotional toll of the day-to-day experiences of being labeled “other” in a society where you are required to work just to fit in. We invite you to read the short but powerful article titled “Focusing on Black Humanity – Recognizing the Exhaustion of Otherness” and to join the continuation of this conversation on February 18th at 9:00 a.m. CLICK HERE to register. 

WLALA is a proud co-sponsor of “The History of Black Lawyers in California Through the Eyes of Former Bar Association Presidents” – a powerful panel discussion celebrating the important contributions that Black lawyers and Black bar associations have had on civil rights, diversity, equity and inclusion in California. We invite you to join us on February 24th at 5:30 p.m. for this program featuring some of the most prominent Black attorneys and leaders in California. CLICK HERE to register.

In observance of Black History Month, we encourage continued open and honest conversations about race and racism.  To that end we wish to highlight the great work of Jeoma Oluo in her book “So you want to talk about race…”  In her book she offers direct and insightful contributions to this essential conversation.  Importantly she observes that “Systemic racism is a machine that runs whether we pull the levers or not, and by just letting it be, we are responsible for what it produces. We have to actually dismantle the machine if we want to make change.”  We must be part of the solution or we are by default a part of the problem.   

Mary McKelvey
President, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles