Celebrating My Sisters
Last spring, I lost my best friend, Cheryl Thompson Veazie, to cancer, and the loss left a void that I don't ever expect to replace. In Cheryl, I had found a loyal friend, confidant, colleague of the bar, and mentor. Our twenty-year friendship provided the mutual support needed to get through college, law school, life, loves, and lawyering.
Like many young women, Cheryl sometimes struggled to meet increasing responsibilities at work and balance the challenges of motherhood and a beautiful two-year old daughter. Yet no matter how busy life became, Cheryl made time for community service in support of the local boys and girls clubs and the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. Likewise, when her friends needed her, she was there.
I'll never forget my first MCCA® Diversity Dinner held in Houston in February 2001. I had just started in the role of Executive Director that January and, with only a month under my belt, I was filled with self-doubt. Cheryl and her husband drove from Baton Rouge to Houston to be there that evening, and their presence meant the world to me. The courage and dignity with which she faced her illness continues to inspire me in the face of every adversity.
Veta Richardson (center) with her best friend, Cheryl Veazie (right), and Cheryl's husband, Malcolm Veazie. Houston, 2001.
This spring issue of Diversity & the Bar is dedicated to the memory of Cheryl Thompson Veazie. Aside from being a great person, she was also a great lawyer, who was taken from us before she had the opportunity to rise to the full extent of her potential. Thus, it seems especially fitting that this issue's cover story should spotlight women lawyers on the rise. They are navigating the challenges of balancing life, work, and community service, each succeeding on her own terms in a legal profession that is often adverse to the advancement of talented women of color.
These sisters of the bar are clearly a force to be reckoned with. They are intelligent, business savvy, and poised for greater positions of leadership. May their stories inspire other lawyers, particularly women of color, to reach for the stars and pursue their career ambitions.
Veta T. Richardson
The spring 2003 issue of Diversity & the Bar is dedicated to the memory of Cheryl Thompson Veazie. Aside from being a great person, she was also a great lawyer.
From the March/April 2003 issue of Diversity & The Bar®