A Message From The President

Do you ever take time to reflect on what you have lived through since the beginning of 2020? Of course, what probably comes to mind first is your continued survival through a global pandemic and various social and political movements. But really; take a moment to think about how far you have come in the last almost 36 months. Even if it simply thinking about how amazing you look tonight in comparison to the daily cycle of sweats and pajamas of early-stage pandemic. I reflect on the progression over that period often for a number of reasons; one principally being that was the year I joined the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation board. A positive byproduct of living through a global pandemic was experiencing the personal and corporate reflection of why we do what we do. Many of us, myself included, began busying ourselves during and through the pandemic for various reasons. However, another byproduct of the last three years is the heightened awareness of how short life can truly be, so I encourage you to reflect on your motivations for doing what you do every day. Admittedly, I realized trust was my main driver and the need to feel trusted by others was my why.

Initially, I believed my desire to engender the trust of others was in part what led me to join the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation. As an only child, raised in by a phenomenal single mother, I learned that connecting to an established and trustworthy source speeds up the trust timeline with others significantly when entering new spaces—schools, cities, jobs, etc. Yet, the trust I desired and what many associate with the Foundation is comprised of four components: integrity, intention, capabilities, and results. Reflection on the intention component—our motivations—was partly the genesis of this Gala’s theme. While the Earl B. Gilliam Association (now Foundation and Association) has built trust in the San Diego legal community over years through its stellar service, quality programming, and notable leadership, I began to realize that something deeper was at work internally through my Foundation board service. Through service, I unearthed a personal revelation of how fleeting, transactional, and unsustainable the concept of borrowed trust was for me and discovered what my purpose is for being called to serve on the Foundation board now.

While representing the interests of the African American legal community in San Diego County is the Foundation’s mission, I believe its current and enduring purpose is to connect, amplify, and impact the lives the individuals within our community.  So, how do we answer that call as a board? Within the next year, the Foundation will create new programming and host events in partnership with business partners, other bar associations and student organization to connect our communities. The Foundation will also amplify its financial literacy programming, its celebration of minority bar takers at its Summer Soirée event, and continue to expand its scholarship fundraising base. Most importantly, the Foundation will continue its great tradition of developing innovative outlets to impact the lives of the students and attorneys in our legal community.

Thank you to the current EBGBF board for trusting me to steward this wonderful organization for the next year. I am so excited for the Foundation’s future and the opportunity to serve alongside you all. Our team is dynamic, forward-looking, purpose-driven, and loaded with talent and potential to make broader and deeper impact within the African American legal community and the broader San Diego legal community. I look forward to answering the call together.

-David M. Middleton

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The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and gifts made to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Please click here to donate today.

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Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation
PO Box 124923
San Diego, CA

Phone: (619) 693-6050

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