2017-2018 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
“If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void…” President Barack Obama.
I voted for the first time in the 2004 Presidential Election, just two months after I was naturalized as a United States Citizen. I have always firmly believed that my voice can make a difference, because when all of our voices align to create a majority, we can indeed implement change. Each vote in itself is an exercise of democracy, and firm recognition of our gratitude to those who fought for this inalienable right.
This year’s theme of the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr., Bar Association is “Ballots and Bridges: Shaping a stronger society through voting, civic engagement, and community service.” This theme is strongly influenced by my desire to educate our younger generation, in particular high school students in Palm Beach County, about the importance of voting and civic engagement. Efforts will be made to encourage these students to register to vote, go to the polls, and stay apprised of political issues that directly affect their respective communities.
The second aspect of this year’s theme is community service. We must recognize that members of our community view attorneys as individuals who can command change and work toward fixing an array of issues. Unfortunately, according to an online survey by Princeton University researchers, attorneys are also viewed as being low in warmth and trustworthiness. If we are going to be successful in helping others in our capacity as lawyers, we must be successful in helping others as humans. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once proclaimed that “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” We will be putting together several community service related events over the course of the next year, and we hope you will join us. Let’s be great together by serving together.
President, F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr., Bar Association