A Statement from the MBA Board of Directors

The inequitable and brutal treatment of African-Americans, with George Floyd’s death being only one of the most recent, public examples, cannot be tolerated. Now more than ever, it is important that we make our stance clear. The Milwaukee Bar Association vehemently denounces racism and hate; we stand in solidarity with the Black community, and we are committed to being allies in the fight against systemic racism and injustice against all people of color. The rule of law needs to protect us all and must exist at all levels of our justice system. We support the lawyers, judges and other court personnel who will work on all sides of this issue to ensure that the constitutional rights of all involved are respected and justice is achieved. Together and unified against hate and injustices, we are stronger. And we are here for all members during this difficult time.

We are steadfast in our commitment to diversity and inclusion and remain committed to engaging with these issues. The Milwaukee Bar Association’s mission statement declares that the organization is “an inclusive, equitable, and diverse organization that serves the interests of the lawyers, judges, and the people of Milwaukee County.” The MBA works to fulfill this mission every day, through our programs and initiatives. We provide educational and leadership opportunities for lawyers of diverse backgrounds; we raise awareness of inequity in the justice system by hosting events such as a diversity summit; we increase access to justice through the MBA Foundation and through our support of the Milwaukee Justice Center; and we have created a diversity clerkship in the federal court beginning in 2020.

The MBA recognizes that members of our community are tired, grieving, and struggling to grapple with the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, compounded with the ubiquitous, looming endemic that is racism. The MBA also recognizes that our greater community wants to promote community and healing. In the coming weeks and months, we will be reflecting on how we can leverage our strengths as an organization to contribute to conversations, change and rejuvenation.

For those who want to become more involved in meeting the challenges before us, we recommend the following resources: American Civil Liberties Union; Black Lives Matter; NAACP Legal Defense Fund; the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP; Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers; Milwaukee Urban League; Official George Floyd Memorial Fund.

We all have to do our part in the fight for equality. Together is how we move forward. Together is how we make change.

Milwaukee Bar Association Board of Directions

Aaron Olejniczak, President
Nadelle Grossman, President-Elect
Maggie Cook, Vice President
Patricia Hintz, Treasurer
Matthew Falk, Immediate Past President

Hon. Ellen Brostrom
Michelle Wagner Ebben
Elizabeth Haas
Catherine La Fleur
Emil Ovbiagele
Kristen Hardy
Timothy Posnanski
Tom Reed
Kimberly Walker

Student Liaison:
Naomie Kipulu

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