On April 1, the Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association (BLAPA) held its annual Spring Dinner to honor several outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to society and to announce the annual winner of the BLAPA Public Service Scholarship. This year’s theme was “Make It Plain: Real World Leadership and the Quest for Social Justice in the 21st century.” The Secretary General of INTERPOL, Ronald K. Noble, delivered the keynote speech.
Noble’s talk focused on “the common struggle for social justice through the prism of the fair and equitable application of the law.” He used the current uprisings against controversial rulers in the Middle East and North Africa to make his point. “You could say," said Noble, "that the desire for fair and equitable treatment by all has gone viral.”
Noble was appointed Secretary General of INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization with 188 member countries, ten years ago at age 44, becoming the youngest secretary general in its history. Last year, Noble was re-elected to serve his third five-year term as Secretary General.
Noble said that INTERPOL makes unique contributions to achieve social justice worldwide, and that he makes an effort to appoint its officials from underrepresented countries to key positions. He wants to ensure that “our actions do not reflect the will of any one individual or one system or one country, but they include the best of all possibilities,” he said.
Noble has been on a ten-year leave of absence from teaching at NYU Law, but for the last four summers he has taught in Singapore in the NYU Law-National University of Singapore program. In closing, Noble stated, “In my view, irrespective of what lens we use to see the world, we must continue to strive to do whatever we can, whenever we can, to fight injustice in any form.”
During the dinner, distinguished members of the NYU Law community were honored for their remarkable achievements in law and for being role models for students. The honorees were Taina Bien-Aimé ’91, executive director of Equality Now and Suzette Malveaux ’94, associate professor of law at the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Bryan Stevenson, professor of clinical law at NYU School of Law, accepted the 2011 Distinguished Service Leadership Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the BLAPA community, extraordinary service to society and the powerful example he sets for those who seek to change the world.
Adrienne Lucas ’13 received the $10,000 BLAPA Public Service Scholarship. The scholarship always goes to a second year student who has distinguished him or herself by participating as a member of BLAPA, by actively engaging in public service, and by planning to pursue a career in public interest law.