LACA marks 45 years with celebration focused on faith, hope, and resilience

On March 31, NYU Law’s Law Alumni of Color Association (LACA) hosted its annual spring dinner commemorating the achievements of NYU Law’s students and alumni of color. This year’s event, which drew hundreds of alumni, faculty, students and prospective students, and other members of the LACA community, was themed “Faith, Hope, Resilience: The Journey Forward.” 

In introductory remarks, Rafiq Kalam Id-Din II ’00, LACA’s president, discussed the 45-year legacy of LACA and his hopes for the future of the organization and its members. Dean Troy McKenzie, Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law and NYU Law’s first Black dean, emphasized the importance of LACA’s work in building community and supporting the professional development and general advancement of people of color. 

Watch a slideshow of photographs from the LACA Spring Dinner:


The event continued with a tribute to the late civil rights activist and longtime NYU Law professor Derrick Bell and the presentation of three student scholarships. Natasha Menon ’24 and Elaine Miao ’25 received the Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service, and Poiret Coulibaly ’24 was awarded the Rasheed M. McWilliams Scholarship. LACA also recognized three alumni for outstanding contributions to the legal profession with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award: Judge David Cunningham ’80 of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County; Clara Kim ’88, executive vice president, chief legal and business affairs officer at the American Society of Songwriters, Composers & Publishers; and Marguerite Smith ’74, vice chair of the First Nations Development Institute Board. 

Adrienne Harris, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, delivered the evening’s keynote address. She offered guests three pieces of advice. “Look beyond yourself and advocate for others, particularly those who are unlike you,” Harris said, adding, “To be an advocate, you must challenge the status quo.” Finally, she urged, “Do not ever settle for less than you deserve.” 

Posted on May 15, 2023