Dear Members,
Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce myself as the new president of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association’s for the year of 2020-21! I have been a part of this organization for many years now and have served in many positions throughout those years.  I started out as a Board Member and then moved to the position of Corresponding Secretary, then to Second Vice President, and on to President Elect.  I am beyond thrilled to be the President of this organization and I look forward to engaging with all of you soon!
My excitement about leading this organization resulted in drafting a letter to everyone about a month ago, which included discussing our installation dinner, the events that normally occur, and the tradition of honoring our past and incoming leaders.  However, I felt that it was more important during this time, for CDWBA to support the revolution happening now, by starting out the year taking a stand against racism, police brutality and supporting black voices and people of color in the community.  CDWBA promotes compassion and understanding within our organization, and as members, we encourage you to use your resources and education to make a difference where you can. 
While we are an organization of attorneys, we are also primarily an organization of women who hold status and access to resources.  Attorneys, in their most essential function, are advocates. Advocates for those who need representation in all types of legal matters, from criminal, to family, to civil and everything in between.  We advocate for our clients and we are guided by what is just and what is fair.  For our members who are judges, you have an extremely important job of making decisions that affect the lives of other people.  For our members who are Directors or Administrative Officers, you are tasked with moving your organization forward and leading by example.  I invite all of our members to embrace that advocacy into all aspects of your lives. You have power, you have access and you have means.  Please use your resources to donate and to support local projects, national organizations and collectives that support black lives and black voices.  CDWBA supports our black members, our members of color and your voices.  
This is a difficult year to lead, but it is the best year to lead.  Everything will be different, from the way we gather, to the way we lend support to one another. But most importantly, my goal for this year is to support inclusion in our organization, and not just in our membership, but also in our efforts and who we support, from our speakers to our vendors, to our featured business owners. This is the year to look inward, listen and be present, and work every single day to promote change. 
Thank you, to all of our members who have continued to support CDWBA, by attending our events, tuning into our broadcasts or being present for our virtual board meetings. I ask that all members continue to support CDWBA, our efforts to better our community and support one another, even if that is simply by renewing your membership. Stay tuned for a really exciting program that will be announced soon and start in the fall, a program where we as attorneys can support our new and student members.  An organization is only as great as its members, so with that, thank you all, every single member of this organization, you are important and we need you to propel advocacy and support in our legal community! 
Madalyn Rosa DeThomasis