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Greetings MCBA members

Dear Mound City Bar Association Members, Family and Friends:

Thank you for supporting the Annual Scovel Richardson Scholarship Dinner which assists deserving law students with their law school education. Congratulations to all the award recipients.

It is my great honor to serve as the 49th President of the Mound City Bar Association. This is the 91st year of Mound City Bar’s leadership and service in the St. Louis Region. The mission of the organization is still relevant today. We have ongoing work to do toward advancing the professional interests of our members, improving the administration of justice, upholding the honor of the legal profession, promoting the professional development of black attorneys, supporting the legal education of black law students and providing service to the community. This year’s theme as we approach our 100th Anniversary is “THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES: To Whom Much Is Given Much Is Expected.” This theme reflects the fact that our founders lit the torch toward justice and equality and it is our responsibility to ensure the flame continues to burn ever so brightly.

I give honor to God, the head of my life, for the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me so much including the ability to live, work, practice and join professional organizations without discriminatory restrictions. In 1922 the founders of the Mound City Bar Association were barred from membership in national, state and local professional organizations; barred from practicing in majority law firms and government offices; and barred from serving on the judiciary. We are blessed with the opportunity to fulfill our dreams. In the past 91 years we have seen great achievements by African Americans in the legal profession and made great strides toward equality under the law. I commend our strong founders for making it possible for us to stand on their shoulders and reach higher heights. I praise the generations of Mound City Bar leaders who followed in their footsteps and raised us higher. We benefit from the perseverance of our members who lit and carried the torch before us. Now it is time to keep the flame burning by replenishing the oil. As I take my place among the great leaders and Past Presidents of this esteemed organization, the torch passes forward. I acknowledge that although we have inherited a rich legacy of service and achievement, the struggle for justice and equality continues. More is expected of us and it is our collective responsibility to enhance the flame so it will burn eternally.

Our challenge for the upcoming bar year is to enhance our community outreach, professional development, collaboration with other organizations and legacy preservation while preparing for our 100th Anniversary. I encourage all past, present and future members of the Mound City Bar Association to become financially active now and help revive the organization with intellectual contributions. As incoming President, I look forward to working with the distinguished board and membership toward increasing the Mound City Bar Association lifetime membership to 100 strong by our 100th Anniversary.

Join us as we carry our torch, with its eternal flame, to future generations.

Nicole Colbert-Botchway