Congratulations on the last week of classes! Good luck with exams!
NEBLSA REGIONAL CONVENTION: “BUILDING ON EXCELLENCE” Equipping You with Tools to Fulfill Your Destiny
January 26-30, 2011
Contact Leah at email@example.com
Join NEBLSA at the renowned MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT for the 2011 Northeast Black Law Students Association Regional Convention. Our annual convention will be held from January 26-30, 2011 and will bring together BLSA members from 33 different law schools in the Northeast Region.
The convention will include: election of next year’s Regional Officers, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competitions, the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition, the Chapter of the Year Award, Recognition of Outstanding BLSA Members, Informative Workshops, Inspirational Speakers, College Student Division Programming, Career Fair, Networking with Practicing Attorneys and Judges, Opportunities to Network with Practitioners, Themed Luncheons, Receptions, Banquets, Socials, Entertainment, and more!
If you would like to attend, please submit a Letter of Interest to Leah at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your letter should explain why you want to attend the convention, note any intention to run for a regional office, and express the level of your participation in Harvard BLSA events. Please also include your willingness/ability to drive. Qualified delegates will be selected by lottery.
(Click here for PDF version)
November 29, 2010
To Whom It May Concern:
Members of the Harvard and Greater Boston community have come together to address an incident that
occurred at an after-party for the Harvard-Yale game on Saturday, November 20, 2010. During this
incident, a group of primarily black patrons were asked to leave a downtown Boston nightclub. Others
on the guest list were refused entrance altogether.
Upon arrival at the party location, Cure Lounge, partygoers were required to provide a Harvard ID in
addition to valid state identification, despite the fact that their names were on an official list provided by
the party organizers. Those waiting in line were not put on notice of this additional requirement
beforehand, and in the wake of this, people who had pre-registered and paid to attend the event were
turned away at the door. Those patrons that did make it inside Cure Lounge eventually were asked to
leave the establishment. The party planners reported that “[M]anagement decided to shut the party down
as to avoid the hypothetical chance of attracting the ‘wrong crowd.’” This assumption was expressed as
the basis for their requirement of Harvard IDs. The implications of these statements and the collective
events of Saturday are beyond troubling.
Our united message is simple: Prejudicial assumptions and manifestations of racial and social inequality
are social justice issues that concern every group, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or other societal
positioning. An affront to one member of our community is an affront to us all, and we will not stand for
close-minded behaviors or assumptions. We will not support or patronize any establishments that use
such assumptions as a basis for exclusion and/or discrimination. It is with this awareness and solidarity
that we stand together to fight injustice, whatever its form may be.
While the incident on November 20th was deeply disturbing, we recognize that it is not substantively
equal to issues that so many other people of color face in Boston and across the nation. The larger
community is still mourning the devastating loss of four individuals slain just a few short months ago in
Mattapan. The skyrocketing incarceration rates of minorities continue to leave voids in the families and
communities left behind. The recent cholera outbreak continues to wreak havoc on the people of Haiti,
and this impact resonates through the Boston area, which proudly boasts a robust Haitian community.
The reality is that discrimination and racial injustice know no boundaries. This recent incident is only
one narrative in a larger story of continued stereotyping and profiling that plagues countless Bostonians
and Americans; there is nothing special about the fact that many of the partygoers were from Harvard,
Yale and other educational institutions. We are not immune from the threat of bigotry and ignorance, but
we are committed to using this incident as a platform to draw attention to greater issues of injustice
occurring regionally and nationally.
We are writing this letter with the hope that it will provide a forum for candid, open and deliberative
conversations about societal inequities, the danger of stereotyping, and the ways people interact with
each other. It is our collective hope that as a community we will emerge more informed about issues of
injustice, more engaged with our fellow community members and more committed to not only acting
upon issues when they affect us personally, but also addressing them when they affect our neighbors.
More than ever, we recognize that injustice anywhere truly is a threat to justice everywhere. Today we
stand, committed to fighting that threat regardless of its form or intended victim.
Our efforts will not end here. Our resolve is strong. Our peers are engaged. We look forward to
expanding the dialogue on the impact of these issues on all people. We will work collaboratively to fight
back against prejudicial assumptions and manifestations of social inequality.
Harvard Black Law Students Association
American Constitution Society- Harvard
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association- Harvard
Black Student Health Organization of Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard Caribbean Law Association
Harvard Graduate School of Education Black Student Union
Harvard Graduate School of Education Policy and Management
Harvard Immigration Project
Harvard Jewish Law Students Association
Harvard Journal of Law and Gender
Harvard Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice
Harvard Law and Health Care Society
Harvard Law School Advocates for Human Rights
Harvard Law School Alliance for Israel
Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine
Harvard Law School National Lawyers Guild
Harvard Law School Student Bar Association
Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Harvard Transfer Student Organization
Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys
Middle East Law Students Association- Harvard
National Black Law Students Association
National Lawyers Guild- HLS Chapter
Prison Legal Assistance Project
Project No One Leaves
Scales of Justice A Cappella
South Asian Law Students Association- Harvard
Women’s Law Association- Harvard
More than 200 Individuals from the Harvard and Greater Boston Community
Click here for PDF version.
Wednesday, December 1, 6:00-8:00PM
Ropes Gray (Pound)
Please come out to the event to support Harvard BLSA! The 1L Job Fair is a signature event for the organization, and our firm sponsors are expecting to see BLSA members in attendance. Stop by and chat with your summer/future employer. Volunteer to help. Grab some firm swag. Be around to offer last-minute tips to 1Ls. Plus, it’s never too late to speak with recruiters about any possible openings for the summer class.
We look forward to seeing you all at the December Fair! Please spread the word to your friends, including those who are not HBLSA members. If you have questions, please email Lauren Moore, Chequan Lewis and Ieshaah Murphy at HBLSAProfessionalDevelopment@gmail.com.
Thursday, December 2nd, 8pm-10pm
Conga Bar & Restaurant, 1 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA
Come celebrate the end of the semester, the start of winter and the upcoming holiday season with HBLSA! Enjoy live jazz and free cocktails and h’ordeuvres with your HBLSA family at Conga in Harvard Square. Cocktail attire is requested. We hope to see you there!
Friday, December 3rd
Next Friday, December 3rd, The Community Service Committee will be volunteering to serve dinner to the homeless at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. The time is TBD by this Monday. Anyone interested in going should email community service at email@example.com.
Wednesday, November 17th, 12-1pm
Join your BLSA family as we take time to lunch together and mingle. Not only will you get to know your own family better, but you will also get to know other BLSA members. Bring your own lunch. Dessert and drinks provided.
THE LAW WITHOUT LIMITS: NON-TRADITIONAL LEGAL CAREERS SERIES feat MAYOR DENNIS ARCHER
Thursday, November 18th, 12-1pm
Come join former Detroit Mayor, Dennis Archer, for lunch as he discusses his career path and experiences post-law school. Mayor Archer is currently a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. In addition to serving as Mayor of Detroit, he has also served on the Michigan Supreme Court and was the first African American elected as president of the American Bar Association. Mayor Archer is a graduate of Detroit College of Law. He has worked as a trial lawyer and partner at several law firms and served as an associate professor at the Detroit College of law, among other roles. This is a wonderful opportunity to ask any burning questions about pursuing a non-traditional career path, as Mayor Archer has had varied and diverse experiences in the legal field. You must RSVP in order to attend. Please email HBLSAProfessionalDevelopment@gmail.com to secure your spot. The seats will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
Friday, November 19th-Saturday, November 20th
Come out for the following HBLSA events during Harvard/Yale weekend:
Friday, November 19: 5-6:30pm
1600 Mass. Ave, Apt. 603 (across the street from HLS), Cambridge, MA
Join us for wings and beer to welcome Yale BLSA to Harvard. We’ll eat, drink and mingle, then head to the HLS vs. YLS Court Classic basketball game (in which some of your fellow BLSA members are playing!) at Lavietes Pavilion at 6:30pm. Lavietes Pavilion is where the Harvard basketball teams play across the river.
Saturday, November 20: 12-4pm
Tailgate After Party with HBLSA & AASU
Conga Bar and Restaurant, 1 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA
Once tailgating ends at the stadium, come party with the black grad community! We’re collaborating once again with the African-American Student Union of the Harvard Business School to bring you the official tailgating after party. We’ll be at Congas Restaurant starting at noon. We’ll have a DJ, the Harvard v. Yale football game on the big screen, and food and drink will be available for cheap. It will be so cold outside that you won’t want to miss this!
Saturday, November 20: 10pm-2am
Party at Cure, 246 Tremont St., Boston, MA
BLSA is taking over Boston! Join us at Cure for the livest party of Harvard/Yale weekend. We anticipate a packed house and lines, so get there early! If you weren’t one of the lucky 50 to get a free ticket, tickets can be purchased here: http://hyvictory2010.eventbrite.com.
BLSA/JLSA EVENT: WHO ARE YOUR PEOPLE? An Interactive Conversation about the History and Future of Black-Jewish Relations
Monday, November 22nd, 2010, 7:00-8:30PM
Who are Your People? Join us as we discuss issues of race and identity with the Jewish Law Students Association. The program will consist of video clips, readings, group discussion and, of course, snacks.
Questions? Contact Dee Dee Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 25th
RSVP to email@example.com by November 18th
If you will be in Cambridge for Thanksgiving and are looking for a place to have dinner and fellowship, email Shaylyn, HBLSAPresident@gmail.com by not later than Thursday November 18th. Also, if you are willing to bring along a BLSA person or two to a dinner you will be attending or hosting in the area, also send Shaylyn an email.
Monday, December 6th, 7:30PM
During the Annual BLSA Holiday Party, Monday December 6th, 7:30 p.m. in Ropes Gray, we will be playing a Yankee Swap game.
The Rules: In Yankee Swap, each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift ($10-15 in value). Participants are given numbers and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order. The person who receives the number 1 will pick a gift from the pile and open it for all to see. The person who receives number 2 then chooses and opens a gift and also must decide whether to keep it or swap it for the first player’s gift. Each person in order then gets to select a present, open it and decide whether to keep it or swap it for any of the other open gifts.
The Details: If you are interested in playing Yankee Swap, email Shaylyn (HBLSAPresident@gmail.com). If you would like to play but have financial difficulties, still email Shaylyn.
Thursday, November 11th, 9:00pm-2:00am
LOCATION DETAILS: North Hall Lounge and Redline
We’re mixing business with pleasure! Come mingle, play games and see some new faces at this mixer with the African-American Student Union of Harvard Business School. Later, we’ll all head to Redline for Hip Hop Thursdays. Please bring your Harvard and state IDs for admission into Redline. We look forward to seeing you there!
CHICK-FIL-A WILL BE SERVED!!!
*Mingling: 9:00PM-11:30PM. Harvard Law School, North Hall Lounge, Cambridge, MA
*Partying: 11:30PM-2:00AM. Redline, 59 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA
Dated April 29, 2010
Harvard BLSA denounces racially inflammatory language – The Harvard Black Law Students Association (HBLSA) strongly condemns the racially inflammatory email that was circulated among the entire Harvard Law School community. Like many individuals who read its content, we find the message to be deplorable and offensive. We are open to thoughtful discourse on even the most controversial of views, and yet we categorically reject the archaic notion that African-Americans are genetically inferior to white people. We recognize, however, that this issue is much larger than any single email or any particular student.
Harvard BLSA is not at fault – HBLSA did not cause, create, or instigate these events. HBLSA was not the initial recipient of the student’s controversial email. HBLSA did not forward the email to Above the Law or any other media outlet. HBLSA did not contact or meet with any other BLSA chapter regarding this email. HBLSA had no contact whatsoever with the author’s clerkship judge or future employer. Any information to the contrary is unfounded and patently false.
Harvard BLSA should not be the focus – It is unfortunate that HBLSA has become the center of this ordeal. We are disheartened that the reckless coverage of this controversy has shifted the nation’s attention away from the injustice and onto an unrelated third party. The real conversation—and all of the media coverage—should be about the unspoken assumptions and enduring racial prejudices that continually resurface throughout our nation. Simply put, the focus on HBLSA is misplaced.
Harvard BLSA recognizes the opportunity – After learning of this disappointing email and before this incident ever went viral, the outgoing and incoming HBLSA Presidents immediately sent an email to our members calling for a “well thought-out and strategic” response. We began brainstorming and soliciting ideas from our members to determine the best way to seize this opportunity. We called for strategies that would promote constructive dialogue and meaningful solutions, not those that would merely serve to further inflame racial prejudices. Moreover, we foresaw that sensationalized blogging would be reactive and counterproductive.
Harvard BLSA is moving forward – What is needed in this hour is a well-developed and effective course of action. After all, true advocacy is not a rash, knee-jerk, or emotionally charged response. Words are incredibly powerful. And as future attorneys, we realize that our words are our stock in trade. They can be used as a weapon to divide and tear down, or they can be used as a tool to unite and restore. HBLSA has chosen the latter approach. In so doing, HBLSA will continue to be a voice against injustice on our campus and in our community.