March 2024 President's Letter

Written by National Association of Women Judges|March 06, 2024|Monthly Update Archive

Dear Members,

karen-sage.pngWelcome to Women’s History Month. The national celebration of an entire month dedicated to honoring the achievements of women dates back as recently as 1987 when Congress proclaimed the month after petitioned by the National Women’s History Project.  This month offers us an opportunity as a nation to reflect upon and celebrate the contributions of women throughout our history.  It also brings to my mind you—all our members that are making history every day as we perform our duties.  I am so proud to be president of this amazing organization and I thank each of you for your service. 

Here at NAWJ we have been celebrating and supporting the achievements of our women judges since 1979.  In honor of our 45-year history, we are announcing our “45 for 45 Campaign.”  In this Newsletter you will find details of this fundraising campaign celebrating our years of NAWJ as an organization.  I have been involved with NAWJ since I first took the bench over 13 years ago.  In the years since then I believe that we have significantly increased the benefits of membership.  Although I enjoyed attending the midyear and annual conferences then, I didn’t really appreciate the rewards of membership throughout the year.  The necessary adjustments that were made during the pandemic have significantly increased our presence and enhanced our community. For example: as part of Women’s History Month NAWJ is proud to co-sponsor a webinar “Women Leaders Making History Through a Cultural Lens for Generations” with the ABA Judicial Division.  We also can now interact with each other through Zoom meetings of our committees and our districts.  But all the benefits of NAWJ have costs involved as well.  You may be wondering, “I pay my dues, I pay for conferences, why should I donate to NAWJ? What’s in it for me?”  Well, unlike most of the professional organizations to which you belong, NAWJ is actually a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.  So, any amounts you give in excess of dues and events are tax deductible.  We rely not only on dues, the annual conference and midyear events, but also grants and private donations.  Your donations help us to fulfill our mission of promoting the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership, fairness and equality in the courts, and equal access to justice.  Your donations also help us improve our outreach to underserved communities.  Donations by our own members also indicates to outside donors that we, the members of NAWJ, believe in this organization. 

I want to remind you that early registration for Austin ends tomorrow.  Book today to get your early-bird price.  I have heard from some of our members that they are hesitant to attend a conference in Texas because of our laws restricting the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community.  I am sensitive to this issue, so I reached out to Sofia Sepulveda, a staff member of Equality Texas, a member of the Trans community and one of our speakers at the midyear.  She told me the following: “It is imperative for them to come and hear stories of our trans community and understand how these laws, that are popping out in a lot of states, are affecting us, not just in our ability to freely be who we are, but also our mental state, and our well-being.”  She asked me to encourage you to please come. 

On a lighter note, the website registration link includes restaurant suggestions.  We have so many incredible dining opportunities here.  But insider’s tip: If you are thinking of trying them out, I encourage you to make reservations in advance of your trip. The most popular book weeks in advance.

I look forward to seeing you in Austin!

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