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A Message from the Maricopa Chapter President, Jebbie Whiteside

 

June 2, 2020

This month’s President’s message is hard to write. Policies and procedures seem to change faster than I can keep up with, and yet other world events make me feel like I’m frozen in time. As attorneys, we often joke that we get paid by the word, yet lately, I find myself speechless more often than not. President’s messages are supposed to be upbeat and inspiring. But times are difficult and uncertain in our world right now. Not only are we dealing with a global health pandemic and severe economic concerns, we are now also faced with the often unspoken subject of discrimination. Sometimes, it is hard to be inspiring. 

Most of you know me as Jebbie. A smaller group of you know me by my legal name, Jabron (which according to the Social Security Administration is a name I share with a total of only 146 other babies born in the U.S. between 1880-2018). Yet, what even fewer people know, is that I am a lesbian who was raised by a single mom, in a multiracial family, in a community where approximately 75% of the city’s 100,000 people were white. Although our community was primarily white, I attended a Title I high school, where the majority of the students were from a disadvantaged social economic background and/or minority group. The odds of success seemed stacked against me at times. Yet, I became the first person in my family to go to and graduate from college (while helping raise my then toddler African American niece). Today, I remain the only person in my family that has accomplished a Graduate/Masters/Doctorate level degree. But I’m not here to write about my background, accomplishments or the struggles I have faced due to any of the various minority group classifications I’m a member of – honestly, my experiences pale in comparison to what so many others have endured and continue to endure. 

So, why do I feel the need to disclose all this in a President’s message to bunch of lawyers? How does this tie into AWLA or the events occurring in today’s society? It’s simple - COVID and the recent protests in our society have made me examine what organizations I have joined in my life. More importantly, why are these organizations important? What message does membership in any given organization convey to others? What opportunities, empowerment, and support does the organization provide its membership?

I am where I am today due partly to my involvement in various activities and organizations that provided me with the opportunity to succeed in a world in which the ‘odds of success’ were stacked against me. AWLA is one of those organizations. AWLA’s mission statement is to promote and encourage the success of women lawyers throughout Arizona, to provide members with information and support, to foster connections among women lawyers, and to monitor and celebrate the successes of our members. This mission statement is based on a bigger premise - that no one should face discrimination based on their group classification. It is about finding acceptance for who we are as individuals and how we fit into a society that hasn’t always embraced our diversity. It is about encouraging and promoting each other within the legal community and in our society. AWLA shares these core values with many of our minority sister bar associations, including, but not limited to: the Arizona Black Bar, Los Abogados, the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, the Arizona LGBT Bar Association, the Arizona Jewish Lawyers Association, the Iranian American Bar Association, and the Native American Bar Association of Arizona. These organizations share a commitment to advance and promote diversity and inclusion in the Arizona legal community, to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard at the decision table and in the Board room. Membership in organizations focused on diversity and inclusion forms a bond of solidarity. Every member gets us a step closer to achieving equality for all. 

Being part of AWLA gives me comfort knowing that, regardless of my gender, sexual orientation, race, or religious belief, I am part of something bigger. It lets me to know that others share my values and passions for equality and that I am not alone. It allows me to meet people from other walks of life who I can learn from, share ideas with, and build relationships with. Hearing the stories of others, helps me identify situations of discrimination that different groups face in our society. AWLA allows me to be part of the mechanism of change for inclusion and acceptance, and at times promote the voice of others. By being part of an organization, each of us as members immediately become leaders and speakers. It is our collective voices that conveys the message that diversity and equality is needed in the legal system. We are the voices of our community. 

As Verna Myers, founder and president of Verna Myers Consulting Group and star of a TED Talk on overcoming bias, said, “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.” Even as we stumble and fall in this time of uncertainty, being part of AWLA lets us dance. I hope all our members feel the same way and I look forward to seeing or meeting each of you at a future AWLA event and we can dance together as one. For a list of our events, please visit: www.AWLA-State.org

In solidarity and equality, 

Jebbie


AWLA Maricopa Chapter President 



 


 

AWLA-MARICOPA CHAPTER 
25TH ANNUAL WINE AND CHEESE RECEPTION

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2019

DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN, DORRANCE CENTER
1201 N. GALVIN PARKWAY, PHOENIX 85008


Presentation of the Ruth V. McGregor Award
to

Paige A. Martin



THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ATTENDED THIS FANTASTIC EVENT. TO VIEW OUR PHOTO ALBUM, PLEASE CLICK THE PHOTO BELOW.



 

 

 




INTERESTED IN SPONSORING THIS OR OTHER AWLA EVENTS?
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MARICOPA CHAPTER AT THE ARIZONA
BLACK BAR HAYZEL B. DANIELS SCHOLARSHIP DINNER


 2019 ABB Dinner 1 2019 ABB Dinner 2 

 

Photo on left (L to R) Alex Anemone, Michel Gamez, Cory Tyszka, Diana Theos

Photo on right (L to R)  Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallegos, Michele Gamez, Alex Anemone, Diana Theos, Cory Tyska





 
When logged in as a member, you can browse our committee roster to see what committees the Maricopa Chapter has, along with the email addresses of the chairs. If you are interested in joining a committee please contact them directly. Click on the link below and scroll down to the Maricopa subcommittees currently available.
 

 

If you are not a member and need additional information, please contact our Executive Administrators, Joanne LaSalle or Alexis Merritt, at membership@awla-state.org.

Want to attend a local event in your area? Just click on the link below or go to the Event Calendar on the menu bar. All Maricopa events appear in blue.  Some events are members-only.

 

 
 MARICOPA - PAST PRESIDENTS

                                     2019 Karin Scherner Aldama
     2018   Alexandria Anemone
     2017   Diana Theos
                                     2016   Rosemarie Pena-Lynch

     2015   Roberta Tepper
     2014   Melissa M. Zabor

                                     2013   Laura J. Zeman-Mullen

                                     2012   Sheri D. Shepard

                                     2011   Barbara McCoy Burke

                                     2010   Danielle D.Janitch                        

                                     2009   Carrie A.Kercsmar                                                

                                     2008   Mayar Daiza

                                     2007   Juliet R. Peters

                                     2006   Susan Hable Purtill

                                     2005   Helen R. Davis

                                     2004   Cari M. Gerchick

                                     2003   Mary Beth Pfister

                                     2002   Paige A. Martin

                                     2001   Consuelo M. Ohanesian

                                     2000   Dawn R. Gabel

                                     1999   Ann A. Scott Timmer

                                     1998   Diane L. Drain

                                     1997   Thea Silverstein

                                     1996   Helen Perry Grimwood

                                     1995   Jodi M. Weisberg

                                     1994   Cheri L. McCracken

                                     1993   Mariannina E. Preston

                                     1992   Nancy Timmerman Landry

                                     1991   Anne L. Kleindeinst

                                     1990   Cynthia L. Shupe

                                     1989   Hon. Sherry Hutt

                                     1988   Barbara A. Markham

                                     1987   Marcia Waterman Davis

                                     1986   Susan G. Wintermute

                                     1986   Linda Buethe

                                     1985   Daphne Budge

                                     1984   Hon. Susan R. Bolton

                                     1983   Anna C. Bronnenkant

                                     1982   Susan M. Swick

                                     1981   Charleen H. Greer

                                     1980   Charleen H. Greer

                                     1979   Lucia Fakonas Howard
                                     1978   Lucia Fakonas Howard

                                      

MARICOPA CHAPTER BYLAWS


AWLA-MARICOPA BYLAWS AS AMENDED THROUGH NOVEMBER 9, 2010

  


MARICOPA NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

 
Interested in some of Maricopa Chapter's history? You can click on the button below to view any of the archived Newsletters and some of the articles that were previously published.

2002-2009 Maricopa Chapter Newsletter Archives