Courage and Conviction in Our Times

On February 3, MoFo kicked off its celebration of Black History Month by hosting a presentation by civil rights leader and nationally renowned speaker Barbara Arnwine in our Washington, D.C. office.

Barbara is president and founder of Transformative Justice Coalition, an organization that seeks to bring about institutional change necessary for justice and equality in the United States and abroad. She is known for her contributions on justice issues including the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

Following welcoming remarks from partner Steve Kaufmann, who discussed the firm’s pro bono work on the issue of voting rights, Barbara spoke about “Courage and Conviction in Our Times: The Historic and Present Role of Lawyers in the Fight for Voting Rights.”

She discussed the importance of celebrating Black History Month as a way of honoring and learning from the past. Barbara detailed the evolution of the African American community’s fight for the right to vote, making connections to the most recent voter suppression issues in the 2016 presidential election.

Barbara encouraged the audience — which, in addition to those present in D.C., included lawyers and staff from other U.S. offices who participated through simulcast — to look expansively at black history.

“Embrace the spirit of Black History Month,” said Barbara, “the celebration of people, the lessons we’ve learned as a country, and a commitment to all of our common humanity.”

Barbara Arnwine and Washington, D.C. partner Steven Kaufmann.

The Los Angeles office Black History Month Committee team including Beverly Carter, Debra Mendez, Pat Lewis, and Cindy Lopez.

The Northern Virginia Black History Month Committee team including Pam Crook and Deidre Moore.