June 19, 2020

Black Lives Matter. The Board of the Jackson County Bar Association (JCBA) stands in solidarity with the Black community and all those who demand justice for the countless lives that have been lost to decades of systematic injustice and social and racial inequality.

With this we support the constitutionally protected right to peacefully protest. We condemn unconstitutional crackdowns on peaceful protests that have been witnessed across jurisdictions, including the live, on the air arrest of a Black CNN news reporter and his crew in Minneapolis and the violent assault of a 75-year-old peaceful protester in Buffalo.

This country has a long history of injustice, social and racial prejudice. The killing of George Floyd was unjustifiable, horrifying, and senseless, and it has has illuminated a familiar systemic narrative we have seen far too often, including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice and countless others who are unnamed.

Recent events have energized the nation and the world in protest in response to irrefutable and upsetting video that has raised our collective awareness of injustices both past and present. An awareness that has sparked a movement of action dedicated to lasting, real change  that has been a long time coming although only recognized by many recently.

As attorneys it is our job to stand for justice and fight for fairness for all people, no matter the color of their skin. We need to come together to work towards a constructive change in our justice system and society as a whole.  We ask our members to join us not only as legal professionals but as humans to stand up and seek a culture of change and a future where all members of our community are safe.

The Board of the JCBA rejects racism of all kinds and vows to actively work against it and strive for a more equal, inclusive and just system, to work to identify, challenge and dismantle systematic racism.  Together we can make a change. Together we can listen, we can learn, and we can support those in our communities who experience an entirely different daily reality. Together we can create effective action toward a better future.

We are stronger together. Together we stand.

In Solidarity,

The 2020 Board of the Jackson County Bar Association
Alexzandra Watson
Michael Cohen
Eric Mitton