Miami, June 4, 2019 – The Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (MDFAWL) held their 39th annual installation and awards dinner at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, FL. One hundred years after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, FAWL members, both men and women, gathered to honor the amazing achievements of women lawyers who have faced barriers and implicit bias but continue the fight for gender equality.
At the ceremony, MDFAWL Foundation officially announced the establishment of a scholarship in honor of Sookie Williams, a pioneer, and staunch advocate for women lawyers and mentor to so many emerging lawyers in the South Florida Community. Sookie passed away in early 2019 at the age of 101. She left a legacy of humility, wisdom and generosity of spirit that made her a champion of equality. The Sookie Williams Scholarship will be presented in March 2020 to a female law student who embodies Sookie’s the passion and perseverance for justice and equality, and who is committed to women’s rights and leadership.
Ira Leesfield through the Leesfield Family Foundation and Leesfield Scolaro, P.A., joined in the effort by presenting a generous lead donation for the establishment of the scholarship. “Sookie was a woman of valor, and a woman of valor makes the world change. She called our attention to things that really matter – dignity, work, love and kindness,” said Leesfield. He is a longtime supporter of MDFAWL and recipient of the Honorable Theodore Klein Award and the Friend of FAWL award. Leesfield honored Sookie Williams’ daughter Mrs. Bryna Williams Kneapler, and her grand-daughters, Nancy Quereau, Jill-Ann Guttentag and Cathy Berdslee, who were present at the event.