On June 16, 2017, former Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter stemming from the killing of Philando Castile. A law-abiding, weapon permit-carrying, compliant citizen who bled out in full view of his girlfriend and their four-year-old daughter, following seven shots from an officer who “feared for his life.” It was a senseless homicide, witnessed globally on Facebook Live, yet his Black life received no justice. This traumatic cycle of abuse and injustice is all too familiar within our community. Please take some time to read and share.
If you are looking for others to bring about change then please do not forget to look to yourselves. Dig deep into those brilliant minds and find solutions to these issues. Get involved in local initiatives and become better organizers. Be the change that you want to see. Think about how you can use your degree as a tool to fight for racial justice. Every area of the law is experiencing a shortage of black lawyers who matter; black lawyers who need to fill voids and advocate for our people. Challenge yourselves and others to step out of their comfort zones. You can expect NBLSA to raise the standard and the manner in which we respond to injustice.
But we need your help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with your ideas. Tell us what you are doing in your community, let us know how we can help, or just express yourself. In these times we need to lean on each other and sometimes people just need an ear. Send us artistic expressions of your reactions to these injustices. Send us ideas that you think the National Advocacy Team should consider in the fight against police brutality.
Please send submissions by July 15, 2017.
In the meantime, take care of each other and take care of yourselves.
National Attorney General
Florida International University College of Law
Mark Dunham, Jr.
American University Washington College of Law