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Hampton Roads Community News

Historic Bar Association To Celebrate 100th Anniversary


The historic South Hampton Roads Bar Association (Known as, “SHRBA”) will present its 100th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at the Westin Hotel in Virginia Beach. At this Gala, the SHRBA will feature its historic beginnings in 1923 with information concerning the years of its community service and legal contributions to the Hampton Roads area.

Also, the SHRBA will honor and pay tribute to its President Emeritus, Mr. William Thomas “WT” Mason, Jr., Esq. Mr. Mason was the oldest member of the SHRBA when he passed on February 1, 2023.

The SHRBA is believed to be the oldest predominately African-American bar Association in the United States. In recognition of the SHRBA and its pivotal role in pursuing justice, equality, and other civil rights, including voting rights, a diverse group of attendees will be at the 100th Anniversary Gala to help celebrate the occasion on April 15th.

Among the numerous community leaders and distinguished guests are the National Bar Association President, Lonita K. Baker, Esq., and the American Bar Association President, Deborah Enix-Ross, Esq., who is only the second Black female president in the ABA’s 145 years. The keynote speaker for the Gala will be the Hon. Cleo E. Powell, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The SHRBA is a member of the Conference of Local & Specialty Bar Associations of the Virginia State Bar. It received the Local Bar Association of the year award in 2016 from the Virginia State Bar because of its community service.

The SHRBA will be passing the “Torch” to its younger generations of lawyers to begin its work for the next 100 years.

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