Dear Past, Present & Future South Carolina Black Lawyers Association Members:

Welcome to our extraordinary organization’s 2018-2019 year! As we start the new year, I would like to thank Donald Gist for his leadership over the past four years, which renewed our spirits, brought us programming and events focused on our commitment to the community and membership.

Serving along side Donald assisted and caused me to reflect on EMPOWERMENT. Specifically, how we harness our talents and empower each of us to capably serve our clients, communities, and profession.

My mom, a former educator and public servant, use to always say, “each one, teach one.” Little did I know that the quote was an African-American proverb. The phrase originated during slavery, when Africans were denied education, including learning to read. Many if not most enslaved people were kept in a state of ignorance about anything beyond their immediate circumstances. When an enslaved person learned to read, it became his or her duty to teach someone else. Passing it (reading) on to the next person.

Why do I share all this with you? Well, while growing up in Rock Hill, I did not want to follow my parents’ footsteps and become an educator or college professor. However, thinking back on my parents’ modeling, in a lot of ways I did just what I did not want to do. I followed my parents’ footsteps and became an educator, while still a pupil. The footprints my parents laid before me tremendously impacts my perspective and vision regarding our profession and our organization. See, I am the beneficiary of some awesome attorney mentors, who thought enough of the profession to teach one… me. I have benefited from some of the best and brightest of our organization.

And, so as we start the year off, I hope that we can live out the above-mentioned proverb, “each one, teach one,” and do exactly that with our membership. My vision is that we [1] challenge ourselves to serve; [2] mentor one another in the practice of law; [3] continue our meaningful learning in substantive law; and [4] leave a footprint in our South Carolina community.

On behalf of the SCBLA Executive Board, I would like to thank each of you for the opportunity to serve, your continued commitment, and support of our organization. I hope you will get more involved this year. Therefore, please visit our website at and on Facebook @SouthCarolinaBLA. And, most of all, “each one, teach one.”