At Queen’s Bench LEAADD Annual Dinner, Bay Area Journalist Belva Davis Reflects on Her Groundbreaking Career
On October 4, 2012, Sedgwick attorneys Eliza Rodrigues, Sigrid Irias and Kirsten Mickelson attended the Queen’s Bench Women Lawyers, Engineers, Accountants, Architects, Doctors, and Dentists (LEAADD) Annual Dinner in San Francisco. In the early 1950s, members of the Women’s Physicians of San Francisco invited women lawyers from Queen’s Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area to a luncheon to discuss issues common to both professions. This gathering became an annual tradition and was expanded to include engineers, architects, accountants, dentists and women from all other professions.
Throughout the years, the LEAADD annual meetings have featured outstanding speakers who have addressed topics of current interest to women. There have been many notable speakers, including former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Rose Bird; author Jessica Mitford; former state Treasurer Kathleen Brown; former National Organization for Women President Ginny Foat; and Chez Panisse owner and chef Alice Waters.
This year’s keynote speaker was Belva Davis, the award-winning host of KQED’s “This Week in Northern California” and memoir author “Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism.” Davis is a Bay Area journalism icon who used grace and intelligence to face down racism and sexism to become the first black woman TV journalist in the West. Davis reflected on her remarkable career and discussed her new book, which is an account of Davis’ struggle to break into broadcast journalism at a time when stories of particular importance to African Americans and women rarely made mainstream newscasts. After her speech, Davis graciously posed for photos with awe-inspired female professionals.
The goal of the LEAADD annual meeting is to create an opportunity for professional women to meet, hear speakers on topics of special interest to all women, network with women from other professions, and develop leadership and team building skills.
The Queen's Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area was formed in 1921. The Queen’s Bench seeks to advance the interests of women in law and society and plays an integral part in furthering the progress of women in the legal profession. It works through committees to achieve its many goals, such as eliminating gender bias in the legal community, encouraging upward mobility of women lawyers in private practice, and encouraging the adoption of legislative and judicial reforms. The Queen's Bench also supports numerous community projects, including biweekly social visits with young women incarcerated in San Francisco’s Juvenile Hall and sponsoring scholarships for promising women law students at Hastings College of the Law and University of San Francisco School of Law.
In addition to committee activities, Queen's Bench sponsors ongoing events and meetings geared toward meeting the professional needs of lawyers, judges and law students.
Rodrigues is a past president of the Queen’s Bench.