Our Approach

The Beginning

In 1993, GWAC established a charitable arm - the GWAC Foundation, Inc. ("the Foundation"). The Foundation received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service in 1995. That same year, GWAC provided the Foundation with its original endowment, which it has more than tripled in the past five years. The work of the Foundation is performed entirely by volunteers with no paid staff.

Our Story

Since 1995, the Foundation has provided funding for numerous community outreach and charitable projects. The Foundation also has provided funding to the D.C. Children's Advocacy Center, which provides services to abused and neglected children; Deborah's Hayride to Christmas, which provides food to needy families during the Christmas holiday season; and Running to Recovery, which assists recovering substance abusers through training for marathons.

In addition, the Foundation provides ongoing funding to GWAC for its Community Outreach Program, which includes support for quality of life projects at the Washington Center for Aging Services. The Foundation and GWAC also have hosted an awards program since 1988 to present the Charlotte E. Ray Award to women trailblazers in the law.

The Foundation, in conjunction with GWAC, sponsors a fundraising auction each year that is the primary means by which the Foundation raises funds to support its charitable works. The Foundation also receives financial support from the members of GWAC, as well as local law firms and corporations.

Click HERE to read about our beloved Founding President, Barbara E. Whiting-Wright.


Meet our Board of Directors

GWAC Foundation, Inc is governed by a thirteen (13) member board with staggered terms, led by annually elected officers.


Ashley McFarland

Acting Chairperson

Jen Ubiera, Attorney 2024

Jennifer Ubiera

Vice Chair

Jennifer Ubiera is a Senior Policy Counsel at the Council for Court Excellence in Washington, D.C. where she focuses on Youth Justice. She is a 2021 LL.M graduate of Georgetown Law Center, graduate of Barry University School of Law, and received her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of South Florida.

She joined GWAC in 2017 and the GWAC Foundation board in 2022, served on the GWAC Executive Board from 2017-2019 and currently serves as GWAC Foundation’s Vice-Chair.


Melanie Barr-Brooks


Carla Jordan-Detamore, Attorney

Carla Jordan-Detamore



Carla Jordan-Detamore is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, focusing on white collar prosecution. She is a 2013 graduate of Washington University in St Louis’s School of Law, and graduate of Duke University for her B.A. in cultural anthropology.

She joined GWAC in 2014 and the GWAC Foundation board in 2016, served as GWAC’s President from 2018-2019 and currently serves as GWAC Foundation’s Treasurer.

Renee Mimms

Renee Mims


Dr. Tracey Jackson

Registered Agent


Keela Seales

(Ex Officio)

President, Greater Washington Area Chapter Women Lawyers Division National Bar Association (GWAC)


Keela Seales is a Staff Attorney at the D.C. Court of Appeals.  She previously worked as an attorney for the Appellate Court of Maryland, the Department of Veterans Affairs Board of Veterans Appeals, and the Louisiana Supreme Court. She received her B.A. in English from Howard University and her J.D. from Tulane University.  She is licensed to practice in DC, Maryland, and Louisiana (inactive).

Keela's previous GWAC roles include Membership Chair, Recording Secretary, and President-Elect.

Angela Robinson

Lani Shaw, Attorney

Lani P. Shaw

Rashida Sims, Esq. business and veterans lawyer

Rashida I. Sims

Rashida I. Sims is the founder of Belle Legal, PLLC. She focuses her practice on Business & Corporate law, Veterans Law, and Estate Administration in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Rashida has a bachelor's and master's degree from Hampton University and a JD from William H. Bowen School of Law.

Rashida joined GWAC in 2009 and the GWAC Foundation, Inc. board in 2017. She currently serves as the GWAC Foundation, Inc. Webmaster and on the LIPP Committee. She has previously served as the Chair of GWAC Foundation, Inc., and as Secretary and Webmaster for GWAC Bar Association.


Meredith Graves

Brandes S.G. Ash, Attorney 2024

Brandes S. G. Ash

Brandes S.G. Ash is an Administrative Law Judge at the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights. Judge Ash is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Ash Mediation Group, LLC—a practice exclusively dedicated to addressing and resolving family issues outside of court—as well as Of Counsel at the Burr Law Firm, PLLC. Judge Ash is a proud graduate of Howard University School of Law. She received her Master of Public Administration degree from George Mason University and bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Judge Ash currently serves on the GWAC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Committee. She has previously served as the President of the Greater Washington Area Chapter of the National Bar Association’s (NBA’s) Women Lawyers Division (GWAC) and Chair of GWAC Foundation, Inc.



Charlotte E. Ray Award 


Legal Internship Placement Program (LIPP)

Scholarship Awards

Support Us...

Please consider making a donation toward GWAC Foundation, Inc., GWAC's 501(c)(3) non-profit association.  Funds are used to support programs such as L.I.P.P., book and bar review scholarships, and community service projects.