National Summit of Black Women Lawyers

By: Tracey L. Schroeder

The National Summit of Black Women Lawyers was held in Chicago from March 30-April 1, 2023, hosted by the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago (BWLA), Inc. Every five years, it has been BWLA’s tradition to host a national summit inviting Black women judges, attorneys, and law students from across the country for an opportunity to engage, encourage, and empower one another and the next generation of Black women lawyers.

The theme of the 2023 National Summit was Together, We Soar, emphasizing that our potential is limitless when we work to uplift one another. Summit speakers and honorees included Valerie Jarrett, CEO of the Obama Foundation and Former Special Advisor to President Obama; Janai Nelson, Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Desiree Ralls-Morrison, General Counsel of McDonald’s; Hon. J. Michelle Childs, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal; Danielle Gray, Global Chief Legal Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance; Haben Girma, human rights activist, best-selling author, and first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law; Hon. Ann Claire Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary; Hon. Yvette McGee Brown, first Black woman to serve as Ohio Supreme Court Justice; Hon. J. Michelle Childs, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; John Rogers, CEO of Ariel Investments and Board Member for Nike, McDonald’s and the New York Times, among many others. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin made plenary remarks and esteemed WBAI member Kenya Jenkins-Wright, General Counsel, State of Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, hosted a break-out session. 

This article was originally published in the WBAI Spring 2023 Newsletter on page 52.