Injustices and violence fueled by racism continue to be enacted across the country. These injustices highlight the shaky ground of white supremacy on which our nation and our legal system were founded. We want to be clear that at CPLA we remain committed to working towards justice and fighting racism within our realms of influence, including within ourselves as an advising team.
We know that many of you join us, and we call on many more to come along with us in taking personal action towards fighting racism. This very much includes listening and learning. We also know that many of you have been in this fight for your entire lives
BLACK LIVES MATTER. It is not just a slogan. It is a call to action. We stand in solidarity with all those rallying in so many ways to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system and create a more just world. We stand for Jacob Blake, George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Botham Jean, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, Tony Robinson, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and so many others. We stand for all of YOU who face racism and bigotry during your experiences as a UW-Madison student and beyond.
Members of the legal profession have the privilege of standing on the front lines in the protection of our nation’s fundamental rights and freedoms. We must also hold ourselves accountable for our role in profiting from and perpetuating white supremacy and racist institutions. Our justice system is not just, a fact borne out by the lived experiences of our community members as well as extensive quantitative and qualitative data. We stand in solidarity with those rallying in a multitude of ways to end police brutality in our communities, reform the criminal justice system, and create a more just world.
Lawyers are integral to the protection of our constitutional rights and the process of reforming, reconstructing, and holding accountable our justice institutions. Our role at CPLA is to support aspiring attorneys by facilitating your exploration of law and guiding you through the law school application process. We are here for you. If you are considering law school, or are in the process of applying, you can make a remote appointment with our office at any time. We serve all students and alumni regardless of school or college and without a time limit.
Words cannot replace action. Those of us who are white need to do more than talk, think, and feel deep sadness over the loss of Black and Brown lives. We need to educate ourselves on the explicit and implicit racisms we enact every day. We need to advocate with and alongside people of color and work for sustainable change. Each of us can do something, and we all need to do more. Do it for the sake of justice and our common humanity. Do it because you would want someone to do it for you. Do it because it is the right thing to do.
Here are some resources to keep in mind as you navigate this time and beyond:
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The Center for Pre-Law Advising
“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” The Honorable Thurgood Marshall, Civil Rights Attorney & First Black Supreme Court Justice