To promote the personal and professional development of Blacks within the legal profession; to promote improvement in the law and in the method of its administration; to educate its members and the general public in matters pertaining to the law and legal profession; to promote knowledge and understanding of the legal profession; and to cultivate professional ethics and networking opportunities among the members of the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association.
Each one reach one, each one teach one, each one bring one, back into the sun.
When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Akron, I participated in the INROADS program. For those who may not be aware, INROADS is a program that provides summer internships at Fortune 500 companies to minority students. Like many similar programs, there was always a summer session with speakers. One such speaker, I don’t remember his name, began his discussion with this quote. Immediately, it touched my soul and I have adopted it into my life as my mantra ever since.
When Immediate Past President, Hershley Oge and I began planning our two-year joint theme and agreed on the theme, “Devoted and Committed to the Community through Social Justice and Mentorship,” I knew this was my time to lead.
To realize this theme, it has to start with community involvement. This year, I would like to put down more roots in our community by continuing our partnership with When We All Vote and begin renewing our relationship with the Black Chamber of Commerce and the National Bar Association. I’d also like to create new relationships with organizations like Suits for Seniors and Inner City Innovators, a group of young people dealing hope out in these streets! But, I don’t just want to implement my ideas, I want to hear from you to. We will create a member survey so we can reconnect with our members and learn what is most important to you.
Speaking of our members, I also want the spotlight to be on you. This year, I want to show off our members and all of the great things you are doing professionally and personally. So, don’t ignore our calls when we reach out to feature you on our social media or to nominate you for an award.
In addition, I will lead the charge on seeking admittance to the Supreme Court of the United States for our members who wish to have that prestigious honor bestowed on them.
I have a lot of ambitions this year, but I know that I can do nothing alone. I have a great team of folks who will be leading with me, and I hope you will visit the Committee Chair page to learn more about them.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time out to thank a few people. First, I’d like to thank my mom who raised me to be speak my mind, but to be kind to everyone. I’d like to thank my husband who has been my cheerleader on days when I have felt my lowest and is my true personification of love. I’d like to thank Tequisha Myles who was my first boss in the legal field. She has shown me what true compassion looks like. In the practice of law there are folks that are often overlooked, forgotten, and purposefully ignored. I’m reminded to never forget the people.
Thank you all so much for the impact you have made on my life. I’m surely a better person because I have you all.
As I close, I want you all to think about ways you can reach, teach, or bring someone back into the sunshine. I want you all to think of how you too can be more devoted and committed to our community, to social justice and to mentorship. When you have those thoughts and ideas, I want you to reach out to me because this isn’t my bar this is our bar and together we can reach many, teach many, and bring many back into the sun.
Denise Mutamba, Esq.
F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association