On behalf of the National and Regional Boards of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), I bring you greetings and welcome students, alumni, and partners alike to the 2017-2018 NBLSA Year, where we will commemorate 50 years of service! I am honored to serve you as NBLSA's National Chair, but more importantly, I am exceedingly proud to be in this amazing organization of brilliant, talented, culturally-conscious, and successful Black and minority law students.
We begin this year in the midst of a stormy time for the United States. While our hearts and thoughts are with the members of our Southwest Region as they weather Hurricane Harvey, we also think of the social, political, and cultural storms that pervade our Nation.
Our storm includes a President who by word and deed has abdicated moral leadership in the face of rising white supremacist, nationalist, and Neo-Nazi elements and has used the powers of the Presidency to condone the evisceration of the very Constitutional protections he swore to uphold. These acts only cover this month. Since January, we have observed while those in high and low places work to turn back the clock on the progress for which our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, civil rights leaders, and ancestors marched, sang, prayed, worked, sacrificed, bled, and died.
Nevertheless, like them, we march on undeterred and unbowed.
The vision of our Founder, Algernon J. Cooper, was of an organization that rises up in times of adversity, speaks out against injustice, and works as one despite those that would seek to divide us. NBLSA has been that organization, and I fully believe that we - students, alumni, and external partners - will continue to come together to lift each other up and propel each other forward, both now and for years to come.
As we mark our 50th Anniversary throughout the year, culminating in our 50th NBLSA National Convention on March 13-18, 2018 in Brooklyn, NY , we will celebrate both the legacy of our organization and the mission NBLSA continues to advance. Stay tuned for developments on the 50th National Convention, including registration and hotel information.
How can I get involved in NBLSA?
For students, that's easy - join NBLSA! Download and share our 2017-2018 Membership Packet to gain information on joining NBLSA and contact your local law school BLSA chapter or email Mary Pickard, National Director of Membership, at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are excited to welcome you into the NBLSA family.
For our alumni, contact our National Alumni Relations Team so we can connect you with the events, programs, and exciting developments NBLSA has planned for this year. This includes networking events, CLE opportunities, and NBLSA student -alumni mentorship programs across the nation. We value our continuing relationship with those who paved our way.
For our external partners, I invite you to learn more about NBLSA - who we are, what we do, and how we serve our membership and our community - and partner with us as we prepare the next generation of legal leaders. Our brief "About NBLSA" Presentationprovides a snapshot of our organization.
This is a very special NBLSA year. Together, we will remember a half century of dedication by students and alumni, and rededicate ourselves to the critical calling of our Founder's vision:
"To increase the number of culturally responsible Black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community."
I thank you for the great work that we will do together for NBLSA, our members, and our community. If there is any way in which I may be of service to you, never hesitate to call upon me.
In NBLSA Service,
Mark A. Dunham, Jr.
email@example.com | (202) 907-4753