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Black Lives Matter. Black Lawyers Matter. Black Leaders Matter.

“When we take care of each other, we survive”—Nikkita Oliver

Black Lives Matter. Black Lawyers Matter. Black Leaders Matter.

This letter is the Western Region of the National Black Law Students Association’s response to three pressing matters disproportionately impacting Black lives at this tumultuous time.

First, we stand in solidarity with UCLA BLSA and Stanford BLSA in their courageous efforts to have their existence respected by white professors that impudently insist on mentioning the N-word in class for mere “historical accuracy.” We see you and we uplift you.

Second, we extend our condolences to everyone that has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Thousands of Black lives have been lost and those deaths are attributable to environmental racism, racial disparities in medical treatment, and implicit biases within the health care system. We also recognize the staggering levels of unemployment and the blatant disregard for the health and safety of Black workers.

Finally, we condemn all acts of bigotry, racism, and senseless violence that our community has endured for generations. On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner’s final words as New York City police officers sat on his head and pinned him to the ground were: “I can’t breathe.” Nearly six years later, George Floyd, pleading for an officer to take his knee off of his neck uttered the same words: “I can’t breathe.”

For every single non-Black person reading this, it is your responsibility to be anti-racist. It is your responsibility to stand in solidarity with your Black colleagues, professors, and friends—regardless of their nationality, religious affiliation, gender orientation, or sexuality. White supremacy, bigotry, and racism have no place in our society.

We implore you to join us as we continue to fight for our right to live, our right to justice, our right to protest, and our right to be respected. This is a time for mourning and a time for action.

For centuries, the nation has been watching Black people die. We are being killed for playing in a park, jogging in our neighborhood, eating ice cream in our living room, babysitting a nephew, sleeping in our bed, going to the grocery store, and protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon “Sean” Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and David McAtee. Their bodies may no longer be here, but their unconquerable souls remain. We are the tide of change.


In solidarity and service,

2020-2021 WRBLSA Board



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