President’s Message: The power of community

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 By MBA President Grace V.B. Garcia
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MBA President Grace V.B. Garcia

In a year where the Massachusetts Bar Association is focusing on the “Three Cs” of communication, collaboration and community, it’s the third “C” that I find myself most grateful for this time of year — our MBA community. 

We have been fortunate to maintain a strong MBA community despite the challenges presented over the last couple of years by the pandemic. Over the past year, as the MBA has adopted a hybrid approach to programming, we have held several in-person events, from our Welcome Back Reception in May, to our summer socials and even some conferences. Thanks to the benefits of Zoom and other remote technologies, MBA members have also been able to attend virtual MBA programs from the comfort and safety of their own homes or offices. These virtual options offered attorneys a way to stay connected at a time when some may have felt detached from their colleagues. 

I was inspired a few weeks ago when I attended the kickoff event for the MBA’s Tiered Community Mentoring Program (TCM). Featuring TCM founder Hon. Angela M. Ordoñez, longtime TCM Co-chair Geoffrey Spofford, and nearly 70 high school, college and law school students, and participating attorneys, the event highlighted some of the many benefits of belonging to a community.

Communing with others can lift your spirits and improve mental well-being. Communities working together can also make a real difference when they are focused on helping others. For these reasons, it is especially important for communities to gather together during the holidays. Last week’s Holiday Party: Casino Royale at the MBA’s Boston office was a good example of the power of community.

With table games, a roulette wheel and a spread of holiday hors d’oeuvres, the MBA’s first floor lobby and conference area looked positively festive. What set it apart from a trip to Encore Boston Harbor or MGM Springfield — other than the pretend money, of course — were the people in the building. The first floor was buzzing, and it felt great to walk through the front doors of 20 West Street again and see so many MBA friends and colleagues enjoying themselves. 

Of course, the holidays are also a difficult time for many people, including those who have lost a loved one or are struggling financially. This year, we asked those attending the holiday party to help those less fortunate by bringing a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Christmas in the City, a local nonprofit that holds holiday celebrations and collects gifts for children experiencing poverty or homelessness. I am proud to report that the MBA received nearly 100 donations of toys and gift cards from MBA members. 

We have two more fun holiday celebrations on tap this month for those who prefer a virtual meetup. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, the MBA is presenting a family-friendly game of Holiday Virtual Musical Bingo. And on Tuesday, Dec. 20, we’re hosting a virtual game of Gingerbread Wars, a fun team-building event with cookie-themed activities — and cookies, of course!  

During this holiday season, I hope you enjoy the benefits of the MBA community, as well as participate in the many ways we help those in our larger communities, whether now or in 2023. 

I wish you all the happiest of holidays and a very happy New Year. Thank you for being a part of our statewide MBA community.