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2021-22 Bar Year Accomplishments

  1. Produced a two-part Afghanistan Rapid Response Webinar Series.
    1. Partnered with the ABA International Law Section to host a webinar highlighting ways lawyers can assist Afghan women lawyers and judges following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan
    2. Hosted a webinar on risk assessments for women’s rights, cultural heritage preservation, and economic relief in Afghanistan
  2. Successfully advocated for the ABA to file amicus briefs in SCOTUS cases this term.
    1. United States v. Texas, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Escobar v. Texas, Merrill v. Milligan, 303 Creative v. Elenis, Brackeen v. Haaland, Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College
  3. Hosted the two-day A Social Justice Policy Summit: A New Administration, alongside the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, and published resulting policy recommendations in the ABA Journal
  4. As part of Native American Heritage Month, produced Fairly Traceable, a play and panel discussion on environmental justice
  5. Launched Lawyers as Changemakers: Perfecting Democracy, including publications and training opportunities for lawyers to volunteer in voter and election protection work.
  6. Launched the Policy Implementation Initiative.
    1.  Advocated at the state level (i.e., FL Parental Rights in Educational law (“Don’t Say Gay” advocacy letter)
    2. Successfully advocated for the passage of several federal laws, including VAWA reauthorization  
    3. Held training for CRSJ leaders with GAO
    4. Continue to advocate at the state and local level
  7. Established the Civil Rights Civics Institute and answered over 160 student questions on civil rights to develop an important resource for students, educators, and the public.
  8. Produced Vol. 47 of Human Rights Magazine, including No. 1: Empowering Youth at Risk through Legal Rights Education; Vol. 47, No. 2: The State of Civic Education in America, and Vol. 47 No. 3/4 double issue: The intersection of Intersection of LGBTQ Rights and Religious Freedom.
  9. Established the Publications Board and forthcoming publications:
    1. Two Voting Rights Primers
    2. Critical Race Theory Monograph
    3. Flying While Muslim Book
    4. COVID-19 Impact on Civil Rights Book
    5. Environmental Injustice Book
    6. Children’s book series with ABA President-Elect Mary Smith
  10. Partnered with the African American Policy Forum to produce a four-part Critical Race Theory Webinar Series, including the forthcoming fourth installment.
  11. Produced a four-part Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Series, sponsored by Walmart.
    1. Proper Use of Gender Pronouns
    2. Eliminating Bias: Microaggressions and the Legal Profession
    3. Removing Implicit Bias from the Legal System
    4. How to Accommodate Disabilities 
  12. Produced 47 free webinars this bar year (see all recent programs).
  13. Launched the 21-Day Practice on Creating Inclusive Spaces and Combating Islamophobia.
  14. Instituted a Land Acknowledgement at the start of each quarterly Section meeting and successfully requested the ABA to do the same.
  15. Successfully requested the ABA develop a calendar and resources on religious observances to aid entities in meeting planning to allow for religious accommodation.
  16. Successfully requested the ABA set up a Task Force to identify and respond to legal issues raised by the Dobbs decision.
  17. Overseeing with the Standing Committee on Pro Bono an ABA-wide Post-Dobbs Clearinghouse/Pro Bono Project.
  18. Collaborated with the ABA Standing Committee on Gun Violence to respond to the over 200 mass shootings in 2022 to date in June 2022.
  19. Submitted 9 resolutions to the House of Delegates at the 2022 ABA Annual Meeting, all of which were adopted.
  20. Organized the Past Chair Advisory Group.
  21. Hosted a collaborative in-person Spring Meeting with the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and the ABA Senior Lawyers Division in San Pedro, CA.
  22. Hosted the HIV/AIDS Law & Practice Conference from May 10-11, 2022, in New Orleans, LA.
  23. Hosted the first ever End of Year virtual party to build camaraderie and open Section activities to those not otherwise involved.
  24. Implemented One Section, One Book Initiative, the Section’s inaugural book club. For the 2021-22 Bar Year, the Section read “Schoolhouse Burning” by Derek W. Black and hosted talk featuring the author.
  25. Updated the Section DEI Plan.
  26. Produced two 2022 ABA Annual Meeting Showcase CLEs
    1. Title IX’s 50th Anniversary: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, and Where We Need to Be
    2. The End of Roe and the Rule of Law.
  27. Bestowed the 2022 Thurgood Marshall Award on Sherrilyn Ifill during the ABA Annual Meeting, Saturday, August, 6, 2022. 

Beth K. Whittenbury
2021-22 Chair, Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Beth K. Whittenbury is the 2021-22 Chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and past leader of the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk. Currently, she is the Principal at Beth K. Whittenbury & Associates.