“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night….The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” – Victor Hugo
This past week we welcomed the light of our first-year class and today we welcome the light of all our students - amidst the darkness of Charlottesville.
We welcomed a talented and diverse first-year class of C|M|LAW students, on the road to obtaining their JD, MLS, or LL.M degree. As I welcomed our students, I emphasized that we strive to produce highly competent, deeply compassionate lawyers who see the practice of law as a calling to serve others, in the tradition of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Our excitement about the new school year has been tempered by the tragic events in Charlottesville when white supremacist groups converged at a rally that ended with the murder of a peaceful counter-protester, Heather Heyer, a young paralegal, and the loss of two Virginia State Troopers in a tragic accident while they were ensuring public safety.
Their loss and our future are now intertwined. C|M|LAW plays a critical role in ensuring that better future.
Please join me for an open conversation this Thursday, August 24th at 4:00 p.m. in the Moot Court Room about the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia and the statements of President Trump and others in its aftermath.
This discussion is open to our staff, students, faculty, alumni, and community leaders and is meant as an opportunity to share feelings and opinions in a respectful way. We will hear briefly from Judge Dan Polster, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, and Professors David Forte and Kevin O’Neill. Immediately following our discussion, please join me at our first Sidebar reception of the academic year from 5-6:30pm in the Atrium.
One of our great traditions at C|M|LAW is that we sponsor events, provide venues for dialogue, and facilitate rational discussion and perspective on a variety of legal and social justice issues. This dialogue on August 24 is part of fulfilling our mission to Learn Law. Live Justice.
The constitutional right of free speech allows all ideas to be spoken, no matter how hateful they may be. We should claim that same right to voice our rejection of such hateful ideas and vehemently oppose hate, intolerance, and bigotry. Violence by anyone is unacceptable, but let’s be clear- there is no moral equivalence between the hate mongers who espouse racist and anti-Semitic ideology and those who protest against these views.
I close with the words of Risa Goluboff, Dean, University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, “As we begin the new semester, the world will be watching how we respond to the forces of intolerance in our midst. People near and far will note how we beat those forces back, and they will take comfort in and celebrate our resolve. For this is who we are, and this is what we do.”
Please join us at our C|M|Law Inaugural Hall of Fame Celebration on October 19, 2017, 5:30-8pm, and please invest in our 120 Scholarship Campaign. Please consider a contribution or pledge today ranging from $120 to $12,000 to $120,000. Please give here: Believe in C|M|LAW. Give Now. or send me an email with your pledge at: Lee.firstname.lastname@example.org. It would mean a lot to us.
Have a great week.
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.