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GRAWA President’s Message: The women’s bar takes a stand

 

grawaprezAt the November board meeting of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, of which GRAWA is a chapter, the Board of Directors of WBASNY voted to adopt a “Resolution Condemning Acts of Hate Speech and Acts of Violence.”  The resolution states:

WHEREAS, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York is the second largest statewide bar association in New York, and

WHEREAS, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York includes, in its mission, “to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and to women attorneys in particular” and

WHEREAS, as an organization of attorneys we are committed to the rule of law and equal protection as guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and

WHEREAS, since November 9, 2016, there has been a rise in the number of acts of violence and hate speech directed at people of a wide variety of ethnic, religious, national and racial groups, as well as members of the LGBTQIA community, and the disabled, both in New York and throughout the country, it is hereby

RESOLVED, that the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York strongly opposes any hate speech or conduct directed at others based on race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification, or national origin, and it is further

RESOLVED, that the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York calls upon President Elect Donald J. Trump, Vice President Elect Michael Pence, and those in leadership positions in the United States House of Representatives and Senate to make a public statement condemning all such acts of hate speech and acts of violence.

Dated this nineteenth day of November, 2016.

 

Additionally, the WBASNY board voted to organize buses to take WBASNY members and guests to Washington to join the Women’s “March on Washington,” which is scheduled to occur the day after the inauguration of the next president of the United States.

The organizers for the Women’s March on Washington describe the march as follows:

On January 21, 2017, we will unite in Washington, D.C., for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

The longer stated mission of the march is set forth at www.womensmarch.com/mission/ and states, in part, that “we join in diversity to . . . send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.  We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

The stated purpose of the march is consistent with WBASNY’s mission, as stated above, and the mission of GRAWA, which is “to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and of women in the legal profession; promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and act as a united voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and to women attorneys in particular.”

Equal rights for all is important, and must be a priority at all times, but the message is especially imperative now in light of “the rhetoric of the past election cycle, which has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault.”  (See www.womensmarch.com/mission/).  The Women’s March on Washington is a peaceful march in the unity of women to honor our rights and values.

Members of GRAWA, or WBASNY at large, who are interested in purchasing a ticket for the bus can email events@wbasny.org.  Nonmembers, of course, are welcome as well and may contact WBASNY and how to participate.  Please join us in sending a message of equal rights for all.

(Special thanks to GRAWA member Connor O’Brien for working with WBASNY and leading GRAWA’s effort to attend the march.)

Pamela Reynolds is an associate attorney in the Rochester office of Littler Mendelson and president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys.