KCBA Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon
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2015 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon – A Wonderful Celebration!

Over 700 guests celebrated Dr. King’s legacy at KCBA’s Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon on January 16, 2015, at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel.

Ms. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. was scheduled to speak, but unfortunately she was requested to attend a meeting at the White House on the same day as the luncheon. We were fortunate to have Ms. Janai Nelson, Associate Director‐Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., as our substitute speaker.

Ms. Nelson’s topic was Voting Rights and her most recent publication, The Causal Context of Disparate Vote Denial, 54 B.C. L. Rev. 579 (2013), examines Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as a disparate impact standard and the racial dimensions of modern vote denial. As she stated at the beginning of her speech, "We are surrounded by milestones . . . some of the most important moments of the transformative era in our history - the civil rights movement." "This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965." She concluded her remarks with "There is an undeniable urgency to all of these issues and there are many more. . . ." "... and while we don’t know precisely what the next milestone will be, we (LDF) remain engaged in a full-frontal attack, to secure equity in education, to fight for economic justice and empowerment, to protect our voting rights, and to insure fairness in the criminal justice system. And we are confident that the load-bearing walls at which we steadfastly chisel, and surgically attack, with every legal tool in our arsenal, will one day come crumbling down."

As part of the event, Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi spoke about the importance of the Minority Law School Scholarship Fund. He expressed the importance of diversity of the bar and commended the King County Bar Foundation for supporting this ideal. Karen Murray, Co-chair of the MLK Committee, asked attendees to consider giving to the KCBF Minority Law School Scholarship Fund.

Luncheon attendees were once again treated to a terrific musical performance by the Graham Hill Elementary School Chorus.

In addition to the generous sponsorship support provided by many local law firms and organizations, the King County Bar Association gratefully acknowledges the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon Committee for their tireless work in making this program such a successful community event: Hon. Richard A. Jones, Co-Chair, Karen W. Murray, Co-Chair, Lisa Castilleja, Phillip H. Ginsberg, Justo Gonzalez, Hon. Charles V. Johnson, Ret., Kerry J. Keefe, James E. Lobsenz, Gregory M. Miller, Kevin A. Peck, Burns Petersen, Hon. Catherine D. Shaffer, Michele E. Storms, Pallavi Mehta Wahi and Leann Wagele.

Thank You
Pictures From The Event



This event is now sold out.

Due to an unforseen schedule conflict, our scheduled speaker will be represented by the deputy director of the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Janai Nelson.


The 2015 Annual
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon

Friday, January 16, 2015
Noon - 1:15pm
(Registration will open at 11:30 a.m)

SOLD OUT

Tickets:
$50 General Admission;
$25 Students & Law Clerks

Sheraton Seattle Hotel
1400 Sixth Avenue

Featuring: Janai Nelson
Associate Director-Counsel
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.


Janai Nelson is the Associate Director‐Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. She is also a former director of LDF’s Political Participation Group and a former NAACP LDF/Fried Frank Fellow.

Prior to rejoining LDF’s staff, Ms. Nelson was the Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and Associate Director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at St. John’s University School of Law where she also served as a full professor of law. During her eight years at St. John’s, Ms. Nelson launched and led an annual student program at the Supreme Court of the United States and assisted in the direction The Ronald H. Brown Prep Program for College Students, an award‐winning law school pipeline program, among countless other service activities.

Ms. Nelson is recipient of the 2013 Derrick A. Bell Award from the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Minority Groups and was recently named one of Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 minority professors making an impact in legal education. Her scholarship centers on domestic and comparative election law, race, and democratic theory and she has taught courses in Election Law and Political Participation, Comparative Election Law, Voting Rights, Professional Responsibility, and Constitutional Law. Ms. Nelson’s most recent publication, The Causal Context of Disparate Vote Denial, 54 B.C. L. Rev. 579 (2013), examines Section 2 of Voting Rights Act as a disparate impact standard and the racial dimensions of modern vote denial. Her article, The First Amendment, Equal Protection, and Felon Disfranchisement: A New Viewpoint, 64 Fl. L. Rev. 111 (2013), explores the intersection of the First Amendment and the equal protection clause in reconsidering the constitutionality of felon disfranchisement in the United States. In the year prior to joining St. John's faculty, Ms. Nelson was a Fulbright Scholar at the Legal Resources Center in Accra, Ghana, where she researched the political disfranchisement of persons with criminal convictions and the advancement of democracy in Ghana. Her research as a Fulbright Scholar is the basis of a publication entitled, Fair Measure of the Right to Vote: A Comparative Perspective of Voting Rights Enforcement in a Maturing Democracy,18 Cardozo J. Comp. & Int'l 425 (2010). Prior to receiving the Fulbright award, Ms. Nelson was the Director of LDF’s Political Participation Group where she oversaw all voting related litigation and matters, litigated voting rights and redistricting cases, and worked on criminal justice issues on behalf of African Americans and other under‐served communities. While at LDF, she argued en banc before the Second Circuit and served as lead counsel in Hayden v. Pataki, a felon disfranchisement case that challenged New York State laws that deny the right to vote to people who are incarcerated and on parole for a felony conviction. She was also part of the team of civil rights attorneys representing African‐ and Haitian‐American voters in NAACP v. Hood (a class action suit that arose out of the 2000 general elections) and one of the counsel representing a death row inmate whose sentence was commuted in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Banks v. Dretke.

Ms. Nelson began practicing law as the 1998 recipient of an NAACP LDF/Fried Frank Fellowship. She received a B.A. from New York University and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law where she served as Articles Editor of the UCLA Law Review, Consulting Editor of the National Black Law Journal, and Associate Editor of the UCLA Women's Law Journal. Upon graduating from law school, Ms. Nelson clerked for the Honorable Theodore McMillian on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (1997‐1998) and the Honorable David H. Coar on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1996‐1997). She has been published on issues of domestic and comparative election law, democracy, race, and criminal justice and is a contributor to Thomson Reuters and Huffington Post. Ms. Nelson has also appeared on CNN, InsideOut, public radio and other media as an election law expert and regularly speaks at conferences and symposia nationwide.

 


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