Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys Celebrates 30th Anniversary



~ Leading legal organization marks historic event with community activities, signature gala ~

June 16, 2011 (ATLANTA) – The Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) and its charitable arm, the GABWA Foundation, will host a four-day event entitled “GABWA Celebrates a Marquee Legacy of Service and Leadership” in Atlanta on July 21-July 24 in honor of its 30th anniversary. Since it was founded by Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears (Ret.), Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane and Judge Barbara A. Harris, GABWA has grown to represent more than 2,000 legal professionals in the state, award over $150,000 in scholarships to black female law students and expand access to legal education and services through its community partnerships and outreach.

“GABWA has proudly nurtured attorneys and aspiring attorneys over the years, leading the way to increasing Black female representation in the judiciary and across the legal profession in Georgia,” Jamala McFadden, President of GABWA, explained. “True to our mission, GABWA galvanizes the power of Black women attorneys to advocate for women and children and empower our communities.”

Significantly, since 2001, the GABWA Foundation’s Sister to Sister Mentoring Program for at-risk teenage girls who have entered the Fulton County Juvenile Court system has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of girls. Each anniversary event will highlight how GABWA empowers its members, friends and Georgians across the state.

The anniversary celebration will be highlighted by a legal conference focused on educating female attorneys and the community at large on current issues and a signature gala and auction fundraiser. The Glitter Gala & Auction, GABWA’s annual fundraiser, will raise funds to supports its outreach efforts and honor the recipients of its 2011 Founders Awards. The awards were established in 2006 to recognize the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that embody the mission of GABWA and the legacy of its founders.

This year’s Founders Awards recipients are:

  • Honorable Brenda S. Cole, State Court of Fulton County, recipient of the Leah Ward Sears Award for Distinction in the Profession;
  • Deborah Poole, Esq., The Georgia Justice Project, recipient of the Barbara A. Harris Award for Service to the Community;
  • Wanda Andrews, Esq., Georgia Legal Services Program (Savannah), recipient of the Bensonetta Tipton Lane Award for Commitment to the Family;
  • Jackie Parker, President, Newell Rubbermaid Foundation, recipient of the Zenith Award for Distinction in the Profession (Individual); and
  • Southern Center for Human Rights and Students Without Mothers, recipients of the Zenith Award for Service in the Community (Organization).

The anniversary weekend will feature a Thursday evening opening reception at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, a seminar on Friday with presentations on topics of interest to female attorneys and the community at large, a Saturday service event with GABWA’s Sister to Sister mentoring program, the Glitter Gala & Auction fundraiser at The Fox Theatre on Saturday evening and a culminating Sunday worship service and brunch.

For more information about GABWA and details on the 30th anniversary celebration, please visit our website at: To purchase gala tickets or register for the conference, visit To arrange an interview, please contact Teah Glenn at (404) 885-3032.


Throughout its 30 year history, GABWA has been a leader in the Georgia legal community, servicing the needs of black female attorneys and the community as a whole.  GABWA was formed in 1981 as a voluntary bar organization that would focus on women and children’s issues, increase black female representation in the judiciary and in public offices and take a proactive stance on political issues. Through the GABWA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides scholarships, mentoring and pro bono legal services across Georgia, the organization has provided more than $150,000 in scholarship funds to female law students and continues to sponsor a number of community service projects, including the Sister to Sister Mentoring Program and the Civil Pro Bono Project. GABWA represents the interests of more than 2,000 judges, politicians, solo practitioners, government, public interest, in-house and law firm lawyers and law students committed to GABWA’s mission—to nurture, support and galvanize the power of black women attorneys, advocate for women and children and empower our communities. GABWA is open to all persons, regardless of race or gender.



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