When I was first sworn in to be President of TMBA, I set up an intention: to mobilize the Orange County community buy Building Bridges. The meant forming meaningful partnerships with like minded organizations. Our first bridges were with Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E Church, UCI School of Law, and the Public Law Center. We discovered that our community was in need of more free legal services in Orange County, so we created a legal clinic. we served nearly 100 individuals. We also partnered with the NAACP to create a monthly legal workshop series. Together we educated the community on their rights and ways to protect their assets. With the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, we brought various black organizations together t discuss the needs of the community and the next generations of leaders. These partnerships had a tremendous impact that will continue to grow in the years to come.
My next commitment was to provide a pillar of support to our local law students. To that end, we awarded over $10,000 in scholarships. We also created a new scholarship for bar takers and repeat bar takers. Moreover, we raised funds for pre-law students who were in the foster care system.
Because mentorship is a core value near and dear to my heart, we provided opportunities for law students to receive mentorship through networking events. Torklaw, our gold sponsor for the 2020 Awards and Installation Gala, funded and participated in an informal mentorship session at a luxurious suite during a Laker game. Moreover, we sponsored events held by their BLSAs and our board members attended their graduations. The lasting benefits from these relationships cannot be quantified. we hope that these opportunities will contribute to more students staying in Orange County after graduation.
We also created opportunities for attorneys in Orange County. We hosted an MCLE discussion on closing the racial wealth gap. We also held an intimate panel with two sitting judges discussing their pathway to the bench.
Finally, my last commitment was to bring people together in a way that they cold develop intimate relationships. We created our first Juneteenth Celebration and Scholarship Brunch where artists from the local community performed spoken word, Neo-soul, and dance. Our Keynote speaker provided s short history on the oft-forgotten celebration. The afternoon ended with an impromptu shout and dance jam session that left everyone with joy.
Through building these strategic partnerships, we built strong bridges that will have long lasting effects.
I am grateful to have had a strong team who was committed to these goals in the form of the 2019 Board of Directors. I am thankful to all sponsors that funded our visions.
I am confident that the incoming President Lakeshia Dorsey will take TMBA's mission even further. Congratulations to TMBA's 2020 Board of Directors.
Desirae Hutchison Esq.