A Message from the President
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali
I am deeply honored and humbled to serve as the next President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation. When I moved to California 18 years ago to begin law school I did so with a blank canvass for the journey ahead. I did not grow up in a home with lawyers nor knew any lawyers. I decided to become a lawyer after I worked as a social worker advocating for the protection of children from abuse and neglect in the Chicago juvenile court. As I drove from Chicago to San Diego with my tuxedo cat and my yellow labrador retriever, I did not know anything about bar associations or foundations. Working full-time as a policy analyst for the County Child Welfare Services agency and going to law school simultaneously left no time for me learn about bar associations or foundations. When I became a new lawyer I learned about the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association. I instantly felt at home and welcome at the events, and the mentorships that I gained from participating in the events have been invaluable.
In 2016 I was invited to apply to serve on the board of directors for the Foundation. I applied because I believed in our mission and felt a personal responsibility to ensure that I did all I could to help assist law school students and attorneys of color succeed in our legal profession. Serving on the Foundation board has been one of the most rewarding experiences because we strive to achieve our mission and we truly see our work directly benefit the population we aim to help. Our ability to achieve our mission is founded on the generosity of our sponsors. In addition, it is possible because of the hard work of our wonderful board to ensure that our events provide valuable insight about the importance of African Americans in the legal and non-legal community.
As President, I will continue to solidify our infrastructure to substantially increase our financial capacity to assist more meaningfully our law students and new attorneys. I will also seek to create new opportunities to collaborate with organizations that aim to diversify the legal community. This in turn will provide more access to resources that help our law students and new attorneys succeed in the legal profession. I am truly privileged to lead the Foundation.
The 2019 theme of the year is “The Power of A Star: It Leads, It Lights, It is Limitless”. May you always remember that you are a star with your own luminary presence; be a bright light wherever you go.
– Yahairah Aristy
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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.
Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation
PO Box 124923
San Diego, CA