An old African proverb states “A single stick may smoke, but it will not burn.”
I would like to thank the Nigerian Lawyers Association for electing me as President of this illustrious organization. It is a great honor that I do not take lightly. I stand before you humbled that you have chosen to place your trust in me. Serving the Nigerian community has been a joy and privilege that I am grateful for every single day. I truly would not be able to do this if it weren’t for many of the amazing people in this organization.
I am just one part of an amazing Executive board. I truly cannot work if my team does not work. Lucky for me, our team is a working team.
Vice President H. Adeniyi Taiwo hopes to increase our membership by focusing on revitalizing the organization with new membership. He believes this can be achieved by having a consistent presence in the legal community with mixers, panels and community workshops.
Treasure Femi Gbede hopes to help in strengthening and re-positioning the NLA so that successive lawyers of Nigerian descent, here in the United States, can be proud.
Secretary Khadijat Ologoke’s vision for the Nigerian Lawyers Association is to have the organization increase its impact in the Black community by working together with schools, families and local neighborhoods to produce a more promising future.
Public Relations officer Lola Moses hopes to promote advocacy and to provide access to adequate legal representation in the form of clinics and outreach programs. She wants to provide visibility among the Nigerian Community and worldwide and to showcase who we are as an organization.
As the Executive Board has hit the ground running, we are willing to working with other bar associations in the city and across the country in any areas that will benefit our members. We will also work with civic organizations and elected officials to conduct free legal services for the
benefit of our communities. This year alone we will be holding a legal clinic, law student resume workshop and mock interviews, to name a few events.
One commonality that each member of the Executive Board shared was the sense of unity. Whether it be between Lawyers and Law Students, Africans and African-Americans, Nigerians and Americans or even past and current NLA members, together, in unity, so much can be achieved.
To end, I would like to leave you with the previous stated proverb: “a single stick may smoke, but it will not burn.” Let’s not be the single stick that smokes, let us band together and start a fire that burns bright and hot for generations to come.
Once again, thank you and I look forward to serving as President of the Nigerian Lawyers Association.
President, Nigerian Lawyers Association
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New York, NY 10007