National Bar Association, 1225 11th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
June 10, 2008
NBA Convenes Historic International Affiliate Meeting In Toronto And Cuba
The 2008 National Bar Association (NBA) International Affiliate Meeting was held
May 28 to June 7, 2008 in Toronto, and Cuba. This historic North American meeting
commenced in Toronto and was hosted by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
(CABL). The first NBA international affiliate meeting held in Toronto was in 1994,
and discussions at that meeting led to the formation of CABL in 1996. The four-day
meeting in Toronto focused on strategies to increase diversity in all areas of the
law, to preserve and expand the pipeline of attorneys of color into the legal profession,
and to ensure opportunity for their success.
The Law Society of Upper Canada hosted a Corporate Roundtable Program: "Making the
Business Case for Diversity in the Legal Profession". Delegates also participated
in a U.S. State Department Briefing with United States Consul General John Nay. Delegates
also visited the breathtaking Niagara Falls, one of the great wonders of the world.
On May 31, 2008, NBA President Vanita Banks led a delegation of 60 judges, lawyers
and law professors from 12 states to the second destinations of the international
affiliate meeting, Havana and Trinidad, Cuba. The purpose of this historic humanitarian
mission was to promote civil society in Cuba, and to build bridges of cooperation
and professional affiliation. President Banks stated: "We believe that this is a
seminal moment in history for Cuba. The NBA supports human rights and fundamental
freedoms for all people, including Cubans. It is our hope that relations between
the people of Cuba and America can support these goals".
The National Bar Association is the oldest and largest national association of predominately
African American lawyers, judges, legal scholars and law students in the world. Founded
in 1925, the NBA has been at the forefront of advocating civil and human rights around
the world. In 1994, as the only bar group sanctioned by the International Election
Committee, the NBA participated in a U.S. delegation which served as official observers
of the first all race democratic election in South Africa.