On November 8, the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL) Annual Scholarship Gala will celebrate and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The Gala’s theme will be “Honoring the Past and Building a Brighter Future.”
The event, to be held at the Minneapolis Marriot City Center from 6-9 pm, will feature:
• Charles Joseph Jones, one of the original Freedom Riders, who now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina
• Roderick Palmore of General Mills, founder of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and author of the acclaimed and influential A Call to Action: Diversity in the Legal Profession
• Speaker Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Arnwine is an activist concerned with civil rights and racial justice issues and was involved with such activities as the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
• A silent auction of a series of portraits of Freedom Riders by Charlotta Janssen, an artist out of Brooklyn, New York
Dinner will be served; the cost of attendance is $100 for MABL members and $125 for non-members. Advance reservation is required; reservations may be made through the MABL website, www.mabl.org/, and more information about the Gala or about MABL may be obtained by calling MABL President Maria Mitchell at 612-348-9933.
“The main purpose of the Gala every year,” Mitchell said, “is to raise money for law students. We give out law student scholarships for people at local law schools — all the proceeds from the Gala go to that scholarship program.
About MABL’s other activities, Mitchell said, “Our mission is to support Black lawyers and law students and judges in their profession. One of the things that we do is go to the law schools and help the students with exam preparation. We also volunteer with the 100 Strong program, because the National Bar Association has a directive for us to interrupt the ‘cradle to prison’ pipeline; as part of that, we’re reaching out to the Minneapolis school district to try to go into the schools.
“We also collaborate with Judge Michael Davis and the Federal Bar Association and have an event every year to recognize minority judges in the state of Minnesota.”
Isaac Peterson welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.