Welcome to the 2019–2020 Bar Year! I am honored and blessed to serve as President of ABWA this year, and I am grateful to all of you for the continued outpour of support. In this new year, I look forward to building on the incredible precedent of my predecessors as we forge ahead in ABWA’s mission to “Lift As We Rise.”With our sisterhood rejuvenated, and our momentum unrelenting, we are uniquely positioned to focus on leading our members to thrive. For black women to flourish in our professional and personal lives, we need to be empowered. And, while that fact is broadly acknowledged, and a significant number of programs across sectors have been designed to empower black women, we are nonetheless leaving the profession at a faster rate than all of our counterparts.These attempts at empowerment are not working; they have proven inauthentic, hollow, and ill-defined. We have the ability to overcome the ineffective versions of empowerment we have encountered in the past, to lead the Bar and model what it means to empower our own.

The theme of my presidency is “Redefining Empowerment.” This year, with each program we will focus on providing the tools and guiding you in implementing the strategies that will enable you to level up. We stand ready to defy the limitations often ascribed to black women with that which will actually nourish and edify us to excel on our chosen paths.

What we offer is no replica of general notions about what black women need to thrive; we are our sisters and therefore we understand not only our needs, but our aspirations and our challenges. Our journey is a shared one, and we are convinced that through ABWA, we can offer genuine empowerment that leads us to prevail on every side.

Journey with us, as we lift as we rise, and together, we will experience empowerment redefined.

In Service and Commitment,
Jennifer L. Taiwo, Esq.
President, 2019-2020
Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA)