September 2012 Bar Bulletin
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September 2012 Bar Bulletin

2013 MLK Luncheon to Feature Professor Michelle Alexander

By Karen Murray


The King County Bar Association, along with the KCBA's Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Commit­tee and University of Washington School of Law Dean Kellye Testy, are honored to announce that Prof. Michelle Alexander will be the keynote speaker for KCBA's Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Luncheon on January 18, 2013, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Seattle.

Alexander, the New York Times best-selling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer and legal scholar. She currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Alexander previously was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the civil rights clinics.

In 2005, Alexander won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of The New Jim Crow - her first book - published in 2010. Her book takes a harsh look at how the criminal justice system maintains the status quo by targeting people of color and the very poor. Alexander takes the reader on a journey that is often reminiscent of the pre-civil rights era, and at the end of that journey he or she is left wondering, "Have things really changed or have they simply remained the same?"

As a stellar visionary, Alexander leaves the reader with hope that change is not only a possibility, but a forthcoming reality. When injustices become so blatant that mankind can no longer ignore the unfairness and inhumane treatment of other human beings based on race or lack of economic means, change will happen.

Alexander will be sharing her thoughts with the legal community and other invited guests as to what Dr. King might think about the high incarceration rate of black men, people of color and the poor, and what the legal community can do to address this travesty by maintaining Dr. King's legacy of nonviolence to achieve equality for all in our legal justice system.


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