August 2021 Newsletter

President's Message

I hope everyone is enjoying #SummertimeChi! BWLA's Board of Directors has been hard at work! We met last month at our annual retreat where we discussed plans for the year. I'm truly excited about the new programming and member benefits we will soon share. If you're not a current BWLA member, I encourage you to pay your dues now to have complete access to all the perks of this bar year!

One of the highlights of the Summer is our annual participation in the Bud Billiken parade! It is so rewarding to interact with our community and provide school supplies to children as they prepare for the upcoming school year, and we are so glad that the parade has returned this year. You can find more details about our participation and how to donate to support this effort below.

Finally, I know you've all been waiting for this year's Annual Fundraiser and you are in for a treat. Tickets will go on sale this month and we will begin to reveal an amazing lineup of speakers. For now, save the date details are below so mark your calendars!

Stay safe and well, everyone!

Nakhia C. Crossley
2021-2022 President
Join us at the Bud Billiken Parade on Saturday, August 14, 2021. We will be handing out school supplies at the parade so please consider making a donation to contribute to this effort! If you are interested in making a donation please send an email to the BWLA administrator email account at:

The parade will begin at 10:00am. Due to COVID-19, the scale and length of the parade will be reduced this year. The parade route will be 10 blocks long, starting at 45th and King Drive, continuing south on King Drive to Washington Park on Ellsworth Drive, to the ending point on 55th Street.

A few things to note if you plan to join us: 
While attendance of BWLA members is welcomed, in light of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, due in part to the Delta Variant, please exercise an abundance of caution by utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that your participation is a fun and safe experience. BWLA will provide masks on the day of the event.

We encourage all attendees to wear BWLA's new t-shirt. T-shirts are available for purchase here.

Please let us know if you plan to join us by signing up here.
BWLA's Garden Plot
On July 24, 2021, BWLA Board members Ashley Varnado and Weeya Young watered BWLA’s garden plot located on Chicago’s south side. Throughout the year, BWLA harvests greens, swiss chard, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. Once the vegetables are grown, the Community Service & Outreach Committee share the fruits of its labor with local community organizations.
Past Events
2021-2022 Board of Directors Retreat
On July 24, 2021, BWLA's Board of Directors gathered for the annual BWLA Board Retreat. During the retreat, BWLA President Nakhia Crossley shared her vision and initial plans for what will surely be a memorable 35th Anniversary for BWLA during the 2021-2022 bar year.

A huge thanks goes to BWLA Vice President Elsa Andrianifahanana, who hosted this half-day event in her beautiful home!
Save the Date!!!
Sign Up for a BWLA Committee!
Are you interested in becoming more active in BWLA during the 2021-2022 bar year? If so, please consider serving as a Committee Member. BWLA has several committees that members can join. If you're interested in serving on a committee, please fill out a brief survey that can be found here.

Your Opinion Matters!
As restrictions have been lifted in Chicago and the State of Illinois for in-person gatherings, BWLA would appreciate your feedback as we begin to plan events for the upcoming bar year. Please share your thoughts and suggestions for indoor, outdoor and virtual events by completing this anonymous survey.
BWLA T-Shirts on SALE NOW!
BWLA T-shirts are currently available for purchase!!! The new T-shirts were designed to celebrate and commemorate our resilience during the pandemic. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to BWLA's Scholarship Fund. T-shirts are $25.00 each and are available in size small - 2XL.

Click here to place your order TODAY while supplies last!
BWLA Member Achievements
Congratulations to BWLA Past President Kenyatta Beverly on being named a 2021-2022 Diversity Scholar by the NCBAP and Diversity MBA Magazine's 2021 Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leader!
Congratulations to Bianca Brown on receiving the Illinois State Bar Association's Young Lawyer of the Year Award!
Do you or someone you know have an achievement that you'd like us to highlight in our monthly newsletter? We want to celebrate our members! Send your latest achievement addressed to BWLA Corresponding Secretary, Era Laudermilk, at
Employment Opportunities
BWLA constantly receives new employment opportunities that our members may be interested in. The ever expanding list has become too lengthy to share here, so please be sure to visit the BWLA Job Board to view all current employment opportunities!
Thank You To Our Sponsors!!!!