The Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association (“BLAPA”) is the umbrella organization for NYU School of Law’s alumni of color. Founded over 30 years ago, BLAPA promotes and supports the professional development and general advancement of the Law School’s alumni and students of color and seeks to more fully involve alumni, students, and faculty of color in the educational, social, and intellectual life of the Law School. Commonly referred to as “the BLAPA family,” this organization further serves as a powerful vehicle through which professional and personal ties are cultivated.
Here are a few ways in which BLAPA can help you stay engaged with both the Law School community and the BLAPA family:
The Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society
Established in 1995 to celebrate Professor Bell’s sixty-fifth birthday, this annual fall lecture has the distinction of being one of the leading forums on race in the country and presents the top legal thinkers and writers in the field. Past speakers include:
- Paul Butler, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Carville Dickinson Benson Research Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law
- Lani Guinier, Professor, Harvard University Law School
- Mari Matsuda, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
- Charles Ogletree, Professor, Harvard University Law School, Director, The Criminal Justice Institute
- Kendall Thomas, Professor, Columbia University School of Law
Annual BLAPA Spring Dinner
The Annual BLAPA Spring Dinner is a wonderful celebration of the BLAPA community and the myriad accomplishments of its members. Graduates, faculty, and current and newly admitted students gather to honor several outstanding BLAPA alumni who are being presented with the Distinguished Service Award. The dinner also provides a forum in which to show support for the student recipient of the BLAPA Public Service Scholarship Award.
The Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service
The Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American (BLAPA) Law Alumni Association Public Service Scholarship was created in 1994 to promote the practice of law in the public sector by graduates of New York University School of Law. In October 2011, the Scholarship was renamed the Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service to celebrate Professor Bell and his commitment to legal education, critical thought, and community empowerment.
BLAPA alumni have contributed funds to create this scholarship to reduce the law school debt burden of second year students who are members of APALSA, BALSA, LaLSA, MELSA or SALSA, who have proven their dedication to the public service, who plan to pursue careers in public interest law, and who demonstrate a commitment to social justice in the best tradition of Professor Bell.
This year, BLAPA will continue to award scholarship(s) in the amount of $10,000. The scholarship(s) will be presented at the Annual BLAPA Dinner on Friday, March 28, 2014. Applications are can be accessed via the link on the left.
The BLAPA Listserv was established to provide a communication vehicle for BLAPA alumni and to inform subscribers about upcoming BLAPA activities and events. This list is open to members of the NYU Law community who have an interest in BLAPA and its programs. To join the BLAPA Listserv, just send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that you will get involved with BLAPA by attending the Spring Dinner, serving on a panel, mentoring a student, supporting our scholarships, participating in Law Alumni Association (LAA) events and reunion activities, supporting law students of color events, speaking at a symposium, judging Moot Court, hiring an alumnus/na and keeping in touch with classmates. As alumni of color, we are the stewards of a legacy of trailblazers and visionary alumni who broke barriers and excelled in the face of daunting obstacles in our society. It is incumbent upon us to honor their work and sacrifice by serving one another, our BLAPA family, our Law School community, and our society with diligence and distinction. I am so very proud to serve as president of BLAPA and will do all that I can to serve our members and the Law School community in a manner that is worthy of this legacy and nurtures a still brighter future for our current and future members.
Rafiq R. Kalam Id-Din II ’00