Our community witnessed the killing of yet another Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of law enforcement on Sunday. This happened at a time when many are reliving the trauma of the brutal killing of George Floyd through the trial of Derek Chauvin. Countless other instances of interpersonal and structural racism experienced by our Black colleagues has caused and continues to cause immense suffering by BIPOC legal professionals, and particularly our Black colleagues. The bar associations stand with our colleagues of color in grieving this latest senseless loss.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “racism is a serious threat to the public’s health.” (https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/racism-disparities/index.html). “A growing body of research shows that centuries of racism in this country has had a profound and negative impact on communities of color. The impact is pervasive and deeply embedded in our society—affecting where one lives, learns, works, worships and plays and creating inequities in access to a range of social and economic benefits—such as housing, education, wealth, and employment.” Id.
The bar associations strive to improve society by developing professional excellence among its diverse membership. One of the core components of their missions is to provide valued resources to their members. The bars must live this mission and vision for their BIPOC members. To provide time and space for healing from the latest events, the MSBA, HCBA, RCBA, Federal Bar Association Minnesota Chapter, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers are hosting a series of listening sessions for legal professionals, especially for our members of color. Information about these listening sessions is available here.
This statement reflects the position of the presidents of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Hennepin County Bar Association, Ramsey County Bar Association, and the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. It does not necessarily reflect the position of the national Federal Bar Association or the board members and officers of the above associations. Board members affiliated with the judicial and executive branches of the federal, state, and local governments did not participate in the issuance of this statement.