The following is a joint statement by the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (LGBT Bar), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) on the recent increase in hate-motivated violence and harassment.
In the aftermath of this particularly divisive presidential election, there has been a surge of bias-motivated and hate violence across the nation targeting many groups, including Muslims, immigrants, women, members of the LGBTQ community, and African Americans. We call on lawyers across the country and our elected officials to denounce and take action against this hate.
The FBI recently released its annual hate crime statistics for 2015, which demonstrated a six percent increase in hate crimes and an alarming 67 percent surge in hate crimes targeting the Muslim American community in the past year. The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded almost 900 cases of hate-based harassment and intimidation that occurred following the election including a large number targeting immigrants and taking place in schools and on college campuses.
As diverse bar associations, we have a unique opportunity to serve as voices for individuals and communities who are targeted based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, immigration status, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. The recent increase in reported hate crimes is a salient reminder that we must work together to speak out against hate in all forms. As bar associations representing the interests of diverse lawyers around the country, we embrace the solidarity and strength of our robust communities and we are committed to our collective mission to serve as the voice of minority communities in the legal profession.
To assist our members who may be part of or work with communities affected by hate violence, we have created a Hate Crimes Resources Toolkit, which has information about reporting incidents, supporting community organizations, offering legal services, and coordinating with government agencies.
We call on our elected officials, in a letter to the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives, to denounce the rising tide of hate. We encourage them to take steps to combat these incidents and promote an inclusive America where all receive equal protection under the law.
As members of the legal profession, we have a special responsibility to ensure the continuity of our best legal traditions, and to defend and uphold our commitments to justice, fairness, equality, and the rule of law under our Constitution. As national diverse bar associations, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding equal rights, fighting discrimination and combating hate crimes to protect minority and underserved communities.
HNBA Contact: Daniel Herrera: (202) 930-6805; firstname.lastname@example.org
NAPABA Contact: Brett Schuster: (202) 775-9555; email@example.com
NBA Contact: Lonita Baker: (502) 210-7062; firstname.lastname@example.org
NNABA Contact: Jennifer Weddle: (303) 572-6565; email@example.com
NAWL Contact: Caitlin Kepple: (312)-988-5861; firstname.lastname@example.org
The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The association promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.
The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.
NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.
The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success. If you are not already a member, please considering joining. NAWL welcomes the membership of individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations. Learn more at www.nawl.org.
Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org.
Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.