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26 Aug 2020 3:51 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

Once again, we are horrified at the latest police shooting of an unarmed Black man. It seems like each time gets more perverse and vile. But the truth is this has been happening for all of America‚Äôs history. If you witnessed the shooting of Jacob Blake, it is abundantly clear that the excessive use of force by the police is endemic to the very structure of the police in our society.  At a time when defunding the police has become a rallying call we must join our voices to radically transform the way we think about law enforcement. We must prioritize visions of law enforcement that center positive and constructive outcomes rather than lethal threats.

BALIF calls on our members to join us in standing in solidarity with other communities most affected by police violence. Being true allies means taking action to end these injustices, as well as promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our own community, in the broader legal profession, and in our society as a whole. Since our last message concerning police shootings BALIF has put words into actions. A few highlights:

  • Donated $1,800 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Flying Over Walls: Black and Pink, and the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex (TGI) Justice Project
  • Planned a training for attorneys wishing to represent protestors or who can crowdsource research and briefing to take place September 29, 2020
  • Called on the Governor to appoint an LGBTQI+ and/or person of color to replace retiring Justice Chin on the Supreme Court of California
  • Collaborated with the California Bar to implement improvements to survey data analysis and questions to adequately represent the overlooked diversity of intersectional identities and transgender attorneys in the annual Diversity Report
  • Participated in a Virtual Legal Clinic with the Oakland LGBT Center
  • Hosted Social Justice Summer events to fund raise with and promote the following Black and Trans-centered advocacy organizations:
    • TAJA Coalition, Lyon-Martin Health Services, Transgender Cultural District, and St. James Infirmary
    • Flying Over Walls: Black and Pink, ABO Comix, and the TGI Justice Project
  • Collaborated to present the following CLE programs:
    • TGI Prison Representation During COVID-19
    • Rising Power: Building an Intersectional Justice Movement in the US, and Diversity in the Legal Profession
    • Recognizing and Dismantling Bias in Law Firms and Private Companies
    • Discrimination, Allyship, and Commonality
    • Discrimination, Allyship, and Intersectionality
  • Are organizing an October 29, 2020 Halloween Fundraiser to benefit the TGI Justice Project, whose mission is to challenge and end the human rights abuses committed against TGI people in California prisons, jails, detention centers and beyond
  • Increased the number of Board members representing the Black/African-American community
  • Developed a governance structure and mandate for the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee

Your ongoing support ensures we can continue to uplift our voices against injustice and furthers our mission to lead the LGBTQI+ legal community through advocacy, justice, community empowerment, and professional development. 

We wish Jacob Blake a full and speedy recovery and hold his family and the community in our hearts.

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