[MIAMI] – President De’Anne Jackson’s message as the newly elected president of the TJ Reddick Bar Association:
I am humbled and honored to serve as the next President of the T.J. Reddick Bar Association.
My administration will focus on fulfilling the goals of the newly launched Plus 5% Initiative. Recognizing that only 5% of attorneys are Black, it is essential to further develop our relationship with the local Black Law Students Association chapters to mentor future Black attorneys. Our commitment to increasing the number of Black attorneys also requires continued expansion of our scholarship opportunities, which so many past recipients have relied upon to support themselves while studying for the bar exam.
Additionally, we will continue to advocate for the independence of the judicial branch and diversity on the bench. We will remain active members of the Judicial Diversity Initiative by advocating for qualified Black attorneys to serve as judges. When asked, “[w]hen will there be enough [women on the United States Supreme Court]? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg responded, “when there are nine.” I would change that answer slightly to when there are nine Black women or when there are nine Black men and women. For some this may seem shocking, but I look forward to a legal profession where the thought of nine Black Justices on the United States Supreme Court or seven Black Justices on the Florida Supreme Court is normal. We have a marathon ahead of us since the Florida Supreme Court currently does not have a Black Justice.
Also, while the number of Black judges in Broward County has increased, there is work to be done for our bench to reflect the diverse community it serves.
During my presidency, my administration will also focus on issues affecting the Black community. For instance, Black attorneys accrue more student loan debt than our white colleagues, and this disparity in student loan debt only further expands the racial wealth gap. I am excited that one of the first events during my term will focus on this important topic. I hope to equip Black attorneys with the tools needed to manage their student loan debt while simultaneously building generational wealth. My administration will continue signature community events, such as Getting Your House in Order: The Estate Planning Edition, and expand this series to include events focused on educating small businesses about the importance of adding an attorney to their team.
I am elated to serve as President and look forward to carrying the torch that was ignited by the rich legacy of our founding members. Join me over the next year in representing Black Excellence Uninterrupted!
De’Anne Jackson, Esq.