Message From the President
Sometimes life gives us gems. Unexpected, but necessary and welcomed, treasures in the form of individuals with unmatched drive, unparalleled vision, and an insatiable appetite for justice. We were incredibly fortunate to share this lifetime with civil rights leaders and change agents, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Elijah Cummings, and Rev. C.T. Vivian.
Rep. John Conyers served as a U.S. Representative for Michigan from 1965 to 2017. He was the sixth-longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history and the longest-serving African American member of Congress. He sponsored the bill to establish Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday.
Rep. John Lewis served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Georgia's 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. Lewis was at the helm of the first Selma to Montgomery march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and was also one of the 13 original Freedom Riders.
Rep. Elijah Cummings was an avid civil rights activist and served as a U.S. Representative from Maryland from 1996-2019. During his tenure in the House, Cummings sponsored a number of influential bills including the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments, Smart Savings Act, All Circuit Review Extension Act.
Rev. C.T. Vivian was a noteworthy minister and civil rights activist. A friend and confidant of Martin Luther King, Jr., Vivian was a Freedom Rider and participated in a number of sit-ins across the country. Rev. Vivian also helped establish several civil rights organizations, including Vision, the National Anti-Klan Network, and the Center for Democratic Renewal.
The impact of these men’s contributions to the Black community and society at large is immeasurable. We will be forever indebted to them for their sacrifice, forethought, and passion. We owe it to them to ensure the flame sparked by their efforts to eradicate social injustice blazes forever and carries their objectives through to realized fruition. I implore you to take some time to evaluate how you can do your part to honor the legacies of these men by effecting change around you. There is so much for us to do and so many ways that we can contribute. Volunteer to serve as a poll watcher in your community. Serve on a local commission. Help to get some of the peaceful protesters out of jail. Join Rainbow Push Coalition. Get actively involved with your local NAACP chapter. Write an Op-ed piece for your local or national newspaper. Lend your efforts to the NBA Voter Suppression Taskforce, COVID Taskforce, or Police Brutality Taskforce. Bring in 5 new members of the NBA!
Charles Hamilton Houston’s often cited quote rings true now more than ever, “A lawyer is either a social engineer or a parasite.” It is not enough to merely be bothered by the injustices around us. Each of us has a sphere of influence that can be used to take action to further the objectives of the greats before us.