The New York City Chapter of The National Conference of Black Lawyers sponsors activities consistent with the overall mission of its national organization. Historically, events have included and include: Bar Exam workshop with a focus on assisting law graduates to prepare for a career as committed advocates for fundamental change consistent with NCBL’s vision; tribute to families and survivors of systemic and condoned police violence; an eviction celebration for the final exit of former mayor Guiliani from office; responses to attacks on judges who take seriously their oath to administer justice within a system that nurtures blatant injustice; legal workshop to assist recently displaced victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita; trial advocacy programs with a cutting edge approach. The chapter sponsors an annual Community Law Day which is held in different boroughs. This event is held outside in a busy area where people come to get written material and to talk about legal issues with the participants. It is one of the chapter’s major and consistent events that provide much needed information for various communities that are generally the targets of police and other systemic attacks. Although the chapter sponsors many events as a chapter, as with other chapters in the NCBL, individual chapter member participates in events on behalf of the chapter. There is room for more committed members to join us in our important and necessary work.
The June, 2016 Chapter Report to the Board of Directors is as follows:
- Executive Board — Co-Chairs: Addrana Montgomery & Sean Hill II, Recorder: Scott Davis, Treasurer: Jalise Burt, Chapter Liaison to the National Board: Jonathan Davis
- Sankofa Gathering — the NY Chapter of NCBL held it’s first ‘Sankofa Gathering’ at the Brooklyn Movement Center on March 5th, a potluck-style event attended by veteran and new members, alike. It was not only an opportunity for fellowship, but also an opportunity for veteran members to share what originally brought them to NCBL and their many accomplishments since joining. There were over 20 members in attendance; both photos and video from the event can be found here.
- Demonstration for Akai Gurley – on Monday, May 2nd, the Attorneys of Color Caucus of Legal Aid held a demonstration outside of the Brooklyn DA’s office, to protest the disparate treatment in sentencing for Peter Liang, following the murder of Akai Gurley. Anne Oredeko, who is a member of both the caucus and the NY chapter of NCBL, invited us to make a statement on behalf of the chapter. I have attached the statement here, as well as a photo of me delivering the statement outside of the DA’s office. Folks can find additional photos from the event on Twitter, using the hashtag #ByeKen.
- Legal Observer Training – our chapter will be holding its second Legal Observer Training on June 9th, led by chapter member and professor, Dr. Jill Humphries. This training is part of our chapter’s continued efforts to build an entirely Black cohort of legal observers to support #BlackLivesMatter protestors. We expect this training to be attended by existing members, as well as potential members from local BLSAs in the NYC area.
- Mississippi Flag Action – NCBL-NY member, Rukia Lumumba, is spearheading our MS Flag Project, a joint effort with grassroots leaders and organizers to have the Confederate Flag removed as the MS state flag. On June 14th, from 11 am to 2 pm, these organizers will be holding a Take It Down Rally in Washington, D.C., with Rukia serving as our chapter’s representative. *Submitted by Sean Hill, Co-Chair