President's Message - JULY
Amy T. Brantly
WLALA President 2017-2018
The past weeks have been filled with press about migrant children being separated from their parents at the border. We’ve all seen pictures and heard audiotape of traumatized children crying. As women, mothers, and lawyers the injustice and inhumanity of this policy touches us to the very core. It was hard for me to even fathom this happening in our country. Yet, it was and families are still separated. This is not a partisan issue – this is a humanitarian issue and an issue of basic rights. I was heartened by the many volunteers who sprang into action to help these children and their parents although I wish that the process could move faster and relief could come to these families immediately. As lawyers, we are uniquely situated to get involved, protect the rights of others and advocate for justice. If you want to volunteer, the Mexican American Bar Association has advised us of the following opportunities:
- There is an immediate need to support ACLU and ImmDef to represent immigrant detainees, including asylum seekers, who have been transferred from immigration detention centers to the federal prison in Victorville. Please click here to download the volunteer form. If you have any questions, please contact Grace Lee, Director of Pro Bono Attorney Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The MABA Civil Rights and Immigration Committee urges all members to consider supporting The Florence Project. This Arizona-based organization offers free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody. Donate here.
As we learn of more opportunities to assist families, we will pass it on.
Even though we are into the summer months, WLALA has some quality programs for you to attend. On July 19th, the LACBA & WLALA Joint Task Force On The Promotion and Retention of Women Lawyers will present a program focused on helping us build our professional brand. Panelists include Carla Christofferson, Patricia Glaser and Sharon Tomkins and the program will be moderated by Jessica Walker.
I additionally hope that you can join us, along with the National Association of Women Judges, for the July 26th screening of “The Judge,” a documentary that provides rare insight into Shari’a law told through the eyes of the first woman judge appointed to the Middle East’s religious courts. The film has been acclaimed as inspirational and according to the New York Times, “[Judge Kholoud] emerges as someone who’s no threat to religious law, but who’s a real problem for patriarchy.” I can’t wait to see this film.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you who made it out to WLALApalooza 2018! It was a fantastic and fun night full of mingling, shopping and donating to good causes. While we always have more work to do to make the world and our legal community a better place, it is heartening to know that we are in it together and that WLALA is a place where you will find support, community and a network of friends.