Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Southwestern Partners with Tavis Smiley for State of the Black Union 10th Anniversary February 24, 2009
Southwestern Partners with Tavis Smiley for State of the Black Union 10th Anniversary

Southwestern's Black Law Students Association (BLSA) will participate for the first time in Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union 10th Anniversary Celebration, an annual symposium featuring scholars, political leaders, celebrities and other prominent members of the African American community who gather to discuss current issues and ideas. The law school has also been designated as an official Community Sponsor of State of the Black Union. After being held annually at major cities around the country, the event returns to its original hosting site at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 28, with activities scheduled from 8am to 5pm. This year's theme is "Making America as Good as its Promise," capturing the essence of what it has meant for African Americans to be enlightened, encouraged, and empowered by these solution-driven conversations over the years.

BLSA members will represent Southwestern in an expo booth and as volunteers during the event. Second-year student Joy Terrell, a vice president of BLSA, was instrumental in orchestrating Southwestern's involvement. "Part of Southwestern's greatness is its commitment to diversity. The law school's eagerness to support Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union demonstrates how strong that commitment really is," she said. "This event has been one of the most anticipated African American events for the past decade now, and many thought-provoking conversations have taken place on ways to make Black America better." She said that the Southwestern BLSA contingent is proud to be representing the law school at the historic gathering and encourages all members of the Southwestern community to attend.

Tavis Smiley is a renowned talkshow host, author, advocate and philanthropist, who began his career as an aide to the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, one of Southwestern's most admired alumni. Smiley and attorney Raymond Brown will moderate the discussions that will be broadcast live to millions of viewers on C-SPAN. This year's panelists include Danny Glover, Nikki Giovanni, Na'im Akbar, Michael Eric Dyson, Lani Guinier, Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Danny Bakewell, Sr., Jawanza Kunjufu, Les Brown, Charles Ogletree, Randall Robinson, Al Sharpton, Iyanla Vanzant, Julianne Malveaux, Maxine Waters, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and Cornel West.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required and can be found online. Questions about the event may also be directed to Joy Terrell, Vice President, Alumni Relations, and Social Chair for BLSA.