In two weeks, I will have completed my third and final term as president of our Association. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president. We have accomplished so much in the last three years. Of course, I could not have done all of the work that we did without the support of my fellow officers, the board of directors and the entire membership.
I am proud of our increase in paid members as well as our greater visibility as a judicial association. In the last three years, we nearly doubled the number of identified openly LGBTQ judges to almost 500 judges from across the world and more than tripled the number of dues paying members. We also completely overhauled our website, monthly newsletter and social media platforms. As a result, our Association is much stronger and visible, and we can more effectively highlight the important work that our members are doing.
We created the Judicial Education Institute to enhance our annual Conference and also formed partnerships with the International Association of Women Judges, the National Association of Women Judges, the ABA’s Judicial Division, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the National Judicial College. These efforts resulted in joint receptions and judicial education programs on LGBTQ legal issues and the formation of an LGBTQ curriculum committee for the National Judicial College. It also led to our participation in a diversity and inclusion summit by the NCJFC. By reaching out to other judicial associations, we raised our profile as well as educated others while educating ourselves.
I am most proud of our efforts to preserve our history. The creation of the In Memoriam webpage provides an important space to remember and honor our dearly departed colleagues. We also conducted 7 oral histories by video of our founding members, which will help those who study our history and personal stories to understand what it was like to be an openly LGBTQ judge in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.
I look forward to working with the next president and supporting all of her initiatives. I am confident that our Association will continue to grow and become stronger under her leadership.