Greetings from NBLSA’s National Chair

What do we see, as we celebrate NBLSA at 50? For some, NBLSA is a refuge – a safe space and source of camaraderie in an often unfamiliar and unwelcoming environment. For others, NBLSA is a network of like-minded individuals, pushing and helping each other to academic and professional greatness. For others, still, NBLSA is a beacon of truth in the darkness, speaking truth to power and advocating for our brothers and sisters across the nation, when they cannot and others will not.

As we mark NBLSA’s 50th year of service, we reflect on the legacy on which our organization stands. Starting with our Founder, A.J. Cooper, thousands of alumni, over the years, toiled to pursue justice, promote diversity and inclusivity, and produce programming to further professional and academic excellence. Through them, the way for today’s law students has been made a bit straighter.

However, we do not simply reflect on the past or celebrate in the present. This year, we rededicate ourselves to advancing NBLSA’s mission for another 50 years. In an era where our politics are vitriolic, our communities endure violence from those sworn to protect them, and our youth continually see justice denied and dreams of prosperity foreclosed, the members, officers, and alumni of NBLSA must continue the work entrusted to our care. As Justice Thurgood Marshall said, “we must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership.” We must march, demand, and strive for better for our communities and our society, using the platform and skills that our legal education affords us.

For this reason, our theme for this 50th year is: “NBLSA at 50: Celebrating Our Legacy, Advancing Our Mission.” 

At our 50th NBLSA National Convention, March 13-18, 2018, we will come from near and far and convene in New York City. Friends will connect anew. Memories will be shared. It will be an event long held in our memory. But that will only be the capstone of a year of work well done.

We shall take this year to rededicate ourselves to the very reason for our existence. As our Founder says, NBLSA continues to exist because the need for us exists. That need is synonymous with our mission:  to increase the number of culturally responsible Black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.

I invite you to join us as we march towards the celebration of NBLSA’s legacy and take hold of the NBLSA’s continuing purpose.

Mark A. Dunham, Jr.
2017-2018 National Chair
National Black Law Students Association
American University Washington College of Law
Juris Doctor Candidate ’18

 Click Here to Access NBLSA’s “Call to Serve”

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