“ Lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving….. we look forward to a future large with promise and hope. Seeking no favors because of our color, nor patronage because of our needs, we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance." - Mary Church Terrell, suffragist and civil rights activist; author, A Colored Woman in a White World, 1940
Every week I witness the impressive accomplishments of our students not only in the classroom but also outside the classroom through participation in our diverse, outstanding C|M|Law student organizations, publications, and events.
No student organization does more for its members and the entire law school than the C|M|LAW Black Law Students Association (BLSA). The mission of BLSA is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.
On Saturday night, I attended, as I do every year, the BLSA Annual Banquet. Joining me were BLSA Faculty Advisor Professor Matthew Green, Associate Dean Carolyn Broering-Jacobs, Assistant Dean Barbara Andelman, Assistant Director of Admissions John Bell, and Administrative Coordinator Jill Natran.
The theme for this year’s banquet was “Lift As We Climb,” representing the need for the legal community to embrace our young aspiring attorneys to shape them into great attorneys, as well as the duty for members of the legal community to give back to the greater community. The successful banquet was organized by the 2021-22 Executive Board:
Jordan Rodriquez, President
Meagan Rowley, Vice President
Robert Dinkins, Treasurer
Kimana Bowen, Corresponding Secretary
Meagan Rowley, Recording Secretary
Jewel Heath, Parliamentarian
The Outstanding Upperclassman Awards were given to Davona Mason’22 and Bianca Smith’22 and the Outstanding Alumna Award was given to Jasmine Taylor ’19, Law Clerk to Judge Charles Esque Fleming, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Judge Michael J. Ryan' 96 was the guest speaker, and the keynote speaker was Denise George, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General.
In addition, the 2022-23 BLSA Executive Board was sworn in:
Christopher Horne, President
Athena Williams, Vice-President
Robert Dinkins, Treasurer
Danielle Antwi, Corresponding Secretary
Aurora Santiago-Flores, Recording Secretary
Valencia Sumpter, Historian
David Giddens, Parliamentarian
There was a tribute to our 2021-22 BLSA Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Team, the First and Third Place Winners of the 2022 Thurgood Marshall Midwest Regional Moot Court Competition.
This was the 5th consecutive year that our BLSA Thurgood Marshall Team has won the Midwest Regional Competition and these victories marked the first time that our BLSA Chapter sent two C|M|LAW Thurgood Marshall Teams to nationals.
Robert Dinkins (2L) and Abby Stout (2L) excelled, defeating DePaul University College of Law for First place.
Brandy Davis (3LE) and Jeff Andrews (2L) overcame Loyola University Chicago School of Law for Third place. Dalya Oprian (2L) played an integral role in that success as the teams’ loyal and committed coordinator.
It was a great evening, and a reminder that we all must lift as we climb and knock at the bar of justice.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.
Have a great day. Have a great week.
Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.