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June 06, 2022 CHAIR COLUMN

June CRSJ Chair's Column

I know that we are all deeply troubled by the continuing struggles faced by our nation. Our hearts grieve for those impacted by the mass shootings over the last three weeks starting with Buffalo, NY, then Texas, followed by Tulsa this past Wednesday. There have been over 228 mass shootings in the United States since the beginning of the year. Please know that, as always, our Section is working to respond. We have set a meeting with the ABA Standing Committee on Gun Violence. ABA President Turner has sent a letter to Congress urging the passage of gun safety legislation. With our ABA entity partners, our committees are planning educational webinars and our policy implementation group is strategizing on ways to advocate for gun safety legislation. To participate in the Saturday, June 11, March for Our Lives you can find a local march near you here.

The continuing challenges we face often bring dismay or despair. However, it is at these times that we need to dig deep to find the strength to overcome the temptation to yield to the discouragement which would slow or stop our necessary, productive work. I am encouraged by our growing membership joining in the fight to dismantle structural and systemic racism and inequity. Together we will make the difference that brings us closer to “a more perfect union.” 

Please join the work of our committees and sign up to volunteer to help with election protection at our Voting Rights Event to be held near the Annual Meeting Registration area from 1:30 – 4:00 pm Saturday, August 6, 2022. Help us celebrate Sherrilyn Ifill as our Thurgood Marshall Awardee at our dinner held at 7:30 pm, Saturday, August 6, 2022. Tickets are now available through the ABA Annual Meeting Portal. Let students, educators and the general public know that we have provided answers to over 170 student questions on civil rights law at our Civil Rights Civics Institute. Join our policy implementation and advocacy work by joining a relevant committee or emailing our Section Director. We need everyone’s commitment to succeed. 

Thank you for all you do each day to bring us closer to the type of world in which we all wish to live. 

Beth K. Whittenbury
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.