The LGBT Bar is deeply committed to continuing the focus of issues of racial justice in the LGBTQ+ legal community for the long haul. This page will house compelling resources that further (un)learning, engagement, and healing with race as we experience it individually, interpersonally, institutionally, and culturally.
Combat Hate Crimes Toolkit
from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been nearly 4,000 recorded hate incidents against the Asian American community, and this number continues to rise. Earlier this week, President Biden announced additional actions to respond to Anti-Asian Violence, Xenophobia and Bias. Attorney General Garland announced a 30-day review to assess the government’s tracking capabilities and prosecution of hate offenses that are surging across the country. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) are working with the Biden Administration to identify problems and to offer solutions in combating hate crimes.
NAPABA and APIAHF have collaborated to urgently develop a community Combat Hate Crimes Toolkit, which provides basic and critical information for victims, community-based organizations and community leaders. The toolkit, created under the National AA and NHPI Health Response Partnership, is translated into 24 different languages—the single largest collection of AANHPI translated materials ever and includes:
- Understanding the difference between a hate crime and hate incident,
- Working with law enforcement and the media,
- Checklist for community organizations, and
- Frequently asked questions.
Elevating and Engaging Black Judges
from the American Constitution Society
To continue to forge a different and better conversation about the role, place, and function of law in promoting equality and safeguarding constitutional rights, and to continue to center the experiences, perspectives, and stories of Black lives, ACS, alongside Professor Michele Goodwin, the National Black Law Students Association, and the National Bar Association, hosted Part III of a series on racial equity: Elevating and Engaging Black Judges. The program focuses on diversity in the judiciary and the need for more Black Judges. We also hope that this conversation inspires students and young lawyers to see themselves as future judges.
Celebrating Bayard Rustin
from the National Black Justice Coalition
This March 17th, as we celebrate the 109th birthday of civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, the National Black Justice Coalition invites everyone to learn more about his life and legacy. As a Black gay man, Rustin overcame countless obstacles to become the chief architect of many civil rights era protests including what is often referred to as the March On Washington (where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech). He is also responsible for introducing Dr. King to the non-violent teachings that helped to define his work as a central leader in the modern civil rights movement. Despite these facts, and his other noteworthy contributions, Rustin’s work is not as well known. This is due, in part, to the homophobia and racism that obscured his legacy—both then and now.
You can learn more about Bayard Rustin via the NBJC’s #HappyBirthdayBayard Toolkit. Share key takeaways and special graphics (can be downloaded by clicking on the images in the toolkit) on your personal and organizational social media channels leading up to and on his birthday (March 17th)!
National Affinity Bars Talk Equity and Effecting Change
from the American Bar Association and National Affinity Bars
The murder of George Floyd, recent protests across the country, and the disparate impact of COVID-19 have brought into sharp focus systemic inequities both in the justice system, the legal profession, and their respective communities. Representatives from the National Affinity Bar Associations discuss how they are identifying and addressing these inequities and share their strategies for breaking down the barriers of bias, racism, and discrimination.
This program is part of the ABA’s Racial Equity in the Justice System, a central clearinghouse of ABA-related information and resources for attorneys, the legal profession and the public on a wealth of issues addressing bias, racism and prejudice in the justice system and society. Watch the webinar to see our own Judi O’Kelley speak!
Queer History is Black History: A Conversation with George M. Johnson
from the National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
The LGBT Bar was proud to co-sponsor the virtual event Queer History is Black History: A Conversation with George M. Johnson, hosted by the National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division! Watch the video for a conversation with bestselling author George M. Johnson about their groundbreaking memoir-manifesto “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” the recent live dramatic reading, and how we can all work harder to center the voices of Black queer people.
Town Hall on Intersectionality
from the California Lawyers Association’s Racial Justice Committee
In this Town Hall, moderated by Staff Attorney Michael Rhoads, speakers share personal and professional experiences they have had through the lens of Racial Justice, Intersectionality and specifically their LGBTQ identity. Speakers include Honorable Victoria Kolakowski, Deputy Attorney General Basil Williams, and Co-founder of Parivar, Anjali Rimi.
Beyond Allyship: 10 Ways to Elevate and Activate For Your Black Colleagues
from the National LGBT Bar Association
An esteemed panel of speakers including Mike Jackson from Microsoft, Nona Lee from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Bendita Cynthia Malakia from Hogan Lovells share tips on how to “Ally Up” and develop sustaining and evolving strategies for allyship.
LGBTQ+ and Black History: A Conversation
from the National LGBT Bar Association
Historian Zaylore Stout, recent author of “Our Gay History in 50 States,” joined us to add historical perspective to the national dialogue on racial equity. He focused on how two important January events (Inauguration and first MLK day since George Floyd) fit into our nation’s larger story.
Tony West, GC of Uber, Explains How He Incentivizes Law Firms to Diversify Ranks
from the National Law Journal
This month, we draw your attention to this 2019 publication of the National Law Journal in which Uber Chief Legal Officer (and former Associate U.S. Attorney General) Tony West discusses practical techniques for encouraging law firms to diversify.
Life at the Crossroads, Part 2:
Navigating Intersectional Identities as a Native American/Indigenous Law Student
from the National LGBT Bar Association
The LGBT Bar’s Life at the Crossroads webcast series serves as a platform and resource for law students across the country. Our goal is to support LGBTQ+ law students with diverse intersectional identities, and to stimulate open and honest dialogue surrounding those identities and how law school experiences differ.
Our second video in this series highlights Native American and Indigenous law students. Special thanks to the National Native American Law Students Association for co-sponsoring this program!
Life at the Crossroads, Part 1:
Navigating Intersectional Identities as an Asian-American LGBTQ+ Law Student
from the National LGBT Bar Association
The LGBT Bar is proud to announce the launch of its new Life at the Crossroads webcast series as a platform and resource for law students across the country. Our goal is to support LGBTQ+ law students with diverse intersectional identities, and to stimulate open and honest dialogue surrounding those identities and how law school experiences differ.
Our first video in this series highlights Asian-American law students. Special thanks to the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association LGBTQ Network for co-sponsoring this program!
The Pursuit of Inclusion
from the Native American Bar Association
This report details the experiences of Native and Indigenous peoples in the legal profession. To learn what steps you and your organization can take to foster a more equitable and inclusive environment, read pages 42 – 48 focusing on the ways institutions can address the systemic exclusion of Native and Indigenous peoples from the legal profession.
“It is imperative to the national justice system that Native Americans be fully part of the process. When an Indian person is confronted by the American justice system, whether as plaintiff or defendant, victim or accused perpetrator, it is of vital importance to Indians and non-Indians alike that Native Americans are seen as a part of that system as lawyers and judges, as advocates and decision makers alike. It is crucial to the acceptance of a justice system that any people see themselves as participants in it, not just the recipients of its outcome. Fundamental fairness in any legal system must also have the appearance of fairness that comes with inclusion of all races.” – Lawrence Baca
Roundtable on Exclusion in the Asian American Community
from the American Bar Association’s Civil Rights and Social Justice Section
In “Who Counts as Asian?” Jennifer Lee and Karthick Ramakrishnan share findings of an empirical study on understandings of the “Asian American” category. They reveal significant patterns of South Asian exclusion, especially as “Asian American” is commonly used as a proxy for East Asian. This roundtable gathers law professors, administrators, and practitioners to discuss how exclusion in the Asian American community has implications for legal education, the legal profession, courts, practice, and the international context. Featuring Nadia Ahmad, Shih-Chun Chien, Cyra Choudhury, Meera Deo, Aya Gruber, Vinay Harpalani, Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Karthick Ramakrishnan, Shruti Rana, Amer Zahr, and Ruchika Sharma
For Lawyers of Color, Collective Liberation Looks Like Mental Health Care
from Dena Robinson and Kimya Forouzan at If/When/How
“Despite what we know about mental health in the legal community, we often ignore the most marginalized in that community — lawyers of color. For lawyers of color, struggles with mental health are compounded . . . As lawyers of color, we work at the intersection of all our identities. The legal field was not only not built for us, but was actively built to exclude us.”
Addressing Racial Equity within the LGBTQ+ Legal Community
from the National LGBT Bar
While awareness of racial inequities in American society, including within the legal profession, has dramatically increased over the spring and summer of 2020, the underlying inequities are far from a new phenomenon. Our own beautiful, diverse LGBTQ+ legal community is often perceived by others as being solely a white community, disregarding the needs and interests of LGBTQ+ lawyers and law students of color; moreover, the legal movement for LGBTQ+ equality is too-often internally driven solely or heavily by white leadership, with insufficient attention paid to issues that disproportionately impact Black, Brown, and Indigenous LGBTQ+ people. Each of us has a unique and urgent role to play in dismantling white supremacy within our own movement and within our own places of work. Our panelists will discuss techniques that we all can implement or advocate for within our workplaces to make tangible impact to dismantle biased systems.
This exceptional program is moderated by Justice Sabrina McKenna of the Hawai’i Supreme Court and features Taylor Brown with the ACLU, Bendita Cynthia Malakia with Hogan Lovells,, and Robert Raben with The Raben Group. If you registered for Lavender Law®, you may claim CLE credit for watching this; unfortunately, if you did not register, we are not able to offer CLE credit.
Let’s build this together
Racial justice work is at its best when done collectively and in solidarity with one another, and we welcome the expertise and lived experience of Black and Brown people to deepen our community understanding. We invite you to join us in sourcing material that focuses on deepening engagement on issues of race and racial justice, particularly material that is intentionally LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming. If there are books, videos, podcasts, articles, illustrations, or other resources you see that are powerful and break through the noise, feel free to send them our way.