Forum Members: The ABA launched an important series to address racial equity in the law. The Forum is committed to diversity, inclusion, and professionalism. The Forum also knows that the obligation to work for these values begins with each one of us. Therefore, the Forum invites you to participate in this important and relevant dialogue.
Black Lawyers in America: A National Town Hall Series will take place each week. You can attend live or via recorded webcast.
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and related economic challenges, recent race-related tragedies have brought our nation to another moment of outrage and protest. We can only hope that our awareness is heightened now and that a thoughtful examination of these circumstances will lead to meaningful and positive change. That change can only happen when all of us stand together for what is right.
In this town hall series, the ABA will examine the struggle for change and racial equity in the legal profession from the past, present, and future.
Session One: The Foundation
This session features the three African American Former Presidents of the ABA, Dennis Archer, Paulette Brown, and Robert Grey, Jr., and Guest Speaker Judy Perry Martinez. Over the course of their distinguished careers, former ABA presidents Mr. Archer, Ms. Brown and Mr. Grey have advocated for the change so many now seek and have helped create a foundation of racial equity upon which the profession can now build. This discussion will identify the issues and set the table for a solution-driven dialogue. This session was live on July 7 and is now available here.
The recording is also available on the Racial and Equity webpage of the ABA website found here.
As our society increasingly becomes aware of the historic inequities that continue to impact people of color generally and Black Americans in particular, the legal profession is likewise coming to terms with this reality. Black lawyers are grossly underrepresented and underappreciated in the legal profession and are still more likely to be affected by bias - both conscious and unconscious - throughout their careers. Our panel will discuss the existing strategies and approaches that firms and corporations can use to make the profession more diverse and inclusive. We will also examine and explore other solutions that have yet to be implemented broadly. Listeners will come away with guidance and action items. This session is now available here.
The next generation of Black legal leaders will discuss the future of the profession. What are their expectations? What do they want to contribute? How will they transform the profession? What challenges do they face and where will they seek their support? How will they harness the energy of social change movements to effectuate change in the boardrooms? This session is now available here.