This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Lawyer’s Lantern


In the fall of 2009, I was MCCA’s new managing director of the southeast region. I can still recall the exhilaration I felt working my first Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference, MCCA’s seminal diversity convening.

12 I

busied myself with checking in on all the concurrent panels; introducing myself to many of the loyal, long-time attendees; and preparing for the arrival of MCCA’s newest class of Lloyd M. Johnson Jr. Scholarship recip- ients, who would be formally presented to MCCA network

later that evening at the Northeast Regional Dinner. If you have ever been to the

Pathways conference and regional din- ner [this year MCCA will be hosting our fi rst-ever MCCA Diversity Honors Gala in lieu of the regional dinner], you know that it is a power-packed day and evening. As the day drew to a close, I was exhausted. But I had planned to show my face at one last event: the post-dinner karaoke party. When I walked in, the music was bumping and guests were already mingling. As far as I could tell, no one had braved the microphone for a round of karaoke yet.


Within minutes of my entrance, my boss, MCCA Executive Director Veta Richardson, took the stage to deliver what I thought would be another distinguished welcome. I remem- ber remarking about how much energy and enthusiasm she still seemed to have at that late hour. Rather than turning the music down, as I expected, the DJ

segued into some classic ’80s pop song. I am sure I must have frowned. I recall thinking, “What is this guy doing? Doesn’t he know to turn the music down when someone gets on stage?” I glanced back at Veta, fully expecting to see fury on her face. But there she was, in her lovely power suit bopping and swinging to the beat. She was looking at the teleprompter in the corner of the stage and, for a moment, it looked like she threw her head back and closed her eyes as she enjoyed the music. I could not believe what I was seeing. I gasped, “Is she going to sing?” Sure enough, she began belting out the words to the song. My mouth dropped open! She was performing karaoke with reckless abandon. When she fi nished, everyone in the room cheered and about a half a dozen people lined up to take a turn. Watching Veta take the lead that night, performing

karaoke in front of the entire party with such passion and con- viction, taught me a lot about who she is and what she means to MCCA. Her actions showed me that, as MCCA’s leader, she was fearless and willing to work tirelessly to serve the organiza- tion. Her confi dence was infectious, making me feel that I could be myself with her and that I need not be afraid to put myself out there as I began my work for the organization. In the years since, I’ve watched Veta consistently be

one of the fi rst to pursue calculated risks on behalf of MCCA and to get other people in our profession involved.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48