In the face of a global pandemic, we have once again been tragically reminded of an even more pervasive threat which continues to afflict societies around the world. The past months in the United States has been especially brutal, as history repeated itself with the death of George Floyd, yet another unarmed African American man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Not for the first time, we witnessed, on video, a police officer viciously take the life of a black man. Who among us could watch the video of George Floyd, pleading for the ability to simply breathe, and not feel repulsed and alarmed that any human being would be treated with such callousness, especially at the hands of those who are sworn to serve and protect us.
We rely on and uphold the laws, seeking to ensure equity and fairness "for all." Unfortunately, for far too long, people of color have not experienced the same sense of protection and fairness under the law. many communities of color have endured decades of disparity, and that experience has led to distrust of law enforcement and the legal system. Blatant discrimination is not and should not and cannot be tolerated within our community.
I have been a speaker on elimination of bias issues to various associations including at the State Bar Annual Conferences from 2005 to 2012, California Association of Black Lawyers, Los Angeles Unified School District and the American Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Section Annual Conference. At my last speech in 2012, I was told by some attendees that I was out of touch with reality and there was no longer discrimination in law schools and the legal profession. They told me the California State Bar’s continuing education in Elimination of Bias needed to be dispensed with.cc
The in person Mediations and Arbitrations are cancelled until further notice. However, we are holding e-remote mediations using GoToMeeting.com.
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