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Joint Statement from the SCBA Board of Directors and Council for Diversity and Inclusion

Friday, June 12, 2020  
June 8, 2020
 
The recent death of George Floyd and the protests that have followed are a stark reminder of the harsh consequences when our fellow citizens are not treated fairly and equally by law enforcement or by our justice system. The Sarasota County Bar Association and its Council for Diversity and Inclusion stand in solidarity with those advocating change across the nation as we speak out against systemic racism that is pervasive in our society and which has continued for far too long.

 

All of us in the legal community can and should advocate for change in the name of equality.  The SCBA has been a state leader in promoting the interests of diversity and inclusion through its Council on Diversity and Inclusion. Our Council was created to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal community through outreach and education, and we will continue our efforts to close educational gaps and professional outcomes through mentorship programs and joint projects with other community organizations. We are committed to promoting and encouraging meaningful law enforcement and criminal justice reform.

 

Black lives matter to us and should matter to you. We strongly urge our legal community to take action against racism and prejudice. To that end, we encourage our members to get involved in efforts to support racial equality in all forms. Such efforts include, but are not limited to, serving on SCBA’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion, volunteering as a mentor with the Booker High School Law Academy, educating yourself on issues of diversity and how you can help promote racial justice (https://www.antiracismproject.org/resources), and donating to or volunteering with organizations that assist marginalized communities.

 

The SCBA will be hosting a town hall to further discuss these issues, and we will continue to pursue programming to promote this change in our community. Thank you for your support of these efforts. If you have additional suggestions on steps the SCBA can take, please contact us at scba@sarasotabar.com.

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