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  • 27 May 2020 11:00 AM | Jules Porter (Administrator)

    P.O. Box 582892, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55458-2892     |    www.mabl.org


    May 27, 2020

    Click HERE to download statement

    On Monday, a horrific video circulated of the violent killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. In the video, an unidentified Minneapolis police officer is seen crushing Mr. Floyd’s neck, for over five minutes, while several other officers watch, and Mr. Floyd repeatedly states that he can’t breathe.

    The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL) calls on the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to expedite the investigation, submit the case to Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, and for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to immediately charge the police officers involved in the senseless death of Mr. Floyd with homicide. Additionally, MABL demands that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo launch a thorough independent third-party assessment of all aspects of the training, policies, practices, and culture of the Minneapolis Police Department resulting in public recommendations to end the inhuman treatment of its Black and Brown citizens. Following the recommendations, there should be a transparent implementation plan with milestones and performance metrics to measure the effectiveness of the changes in the short and long term.

    The killing of Mr. Floyd is just the latest example of how the over-aggressive policing of non-violent, minor crimes has resulted in the death of Black and Brown Minnesotans, undermining confidence in the police within communities of color. Often, in the wake of a homicide by police officers, a public smear campaign ensues against the victim, implying that he deserved to be killed. We call on Governor Tim Walz, Mayor Jacob Frey, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and our local and state officials to denounce this practice because our justice system holds that, even for the worst aggravated crimes, the penalty should never be torture or murder. Thus, not only must the officers involved in the homicide of Mr. Floyd be brought to justice, but the Minneapolis Police Department’s policies and practices must be examined and changed to ensure that no more innocent Minnesotans die at the hands of the police.

    Furthermore, the Mayor and the Police Chief must confront the culture within the Minneapolis Police Department that allowed Mr. Floyd to be brutalized and killed in front of four other police officers who did nothing to mitigate the situation. It is noteworthy that as the police officer was choking Mr. Floyd to death, his visible hand was in his pocket. This casual posture for someone killing a human being in broad daylight with cell phones recording is horrifying. This callousness shines a glaring spotlight on a culture that tolerates the killing of a Black man without any provocation. The disregard of Black lives within our criminal justice system perpetuates the officers’ expectation that killing Mr. Floyd on tape in broad daylight with witnesses in 2020 has the same consequence as would lynching him and taking proud photos next to the dead body 100 years ago; absolutely nothing.

    We are encouraged to see that swift, decisive action was taken to fire the officers. We hope, however, that this is only the beginning of a just process that includes the charging and conviction of the officers for killing Mr. Floyd and overhaul of the Minneapolis Police Department’s practices. Twin Cities residents are frustrated with the culture of violence and racial discrimination within the Minneapolis Police Department. The County Attorney, the Mayor and the Police Chief must make clear that the lives of all Minnesotans – regardless of their race — are valued equally and will be treated fairly.

    Amran Farah


    On Behalf of the Board of Directors

    Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers

  • 05 Mar 2018 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    At the February 22, 2018 MABL General Membership Meeting, members approved a 3-year Strategic Plan in line with MABL's new Mission Statement (which the MABL Board subsequently approved unanimously on February 26, 2018).  This document will guide MABL's processes and present a more relevant and effective organization.  MABL sends it gratitude to its stakeholders for the needed work to produce this comprehensive road map.  A special appreciation to the Honorable Peter Reyes, Jr., Minnesota Court of Appeals, and Adine S. Momoh, Esq., MABL At-Large Director, for facilitating this process .  MABL needs the increased participation of its members in the various committees to build a more viable association.  Please visit www.mabl.org for opportunities to bring your skills to your community and to join a committee.

    The adopted Strategic Plan is available here.  Photos from the meeting are available here.


  • 13 Feb 2018 10:59 PM | Anonymous

    The Strategic Plan is available to review here.   

  • 16 Oct 2017 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    On October 12, 2017, MABL was honored as a recipient of Minnesota Lawyer's inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Award.  Other distinguished award recipients included MABL Members Hon. Alan Page, Hon. Michael J. Davis, Hon. Tanya M. Bransford, Valerie Jensen, Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, and Jerry Blackwell (a founder of MABL).

September 29, 2017: 2017 MABL Foundation Scholarship Applications Due

For more information, visit our MABL Scholarship page.

September 4, 2017: Profiles in Courage Award Nominations Due

Please consider nominating someone today for the 2017 Profiles in Courage Award.  The award is presented at the MABL Gala each year.  Apply here.

2016-2017 TERM IN REVIEW  



·         Monthly Board Meetings

·         Quarterly General Meetings

·         Newsletter

o   Announcements

o   Events

o   General Interest


21st anniversary Gala was one of the most successful in recent years.  Scholarship amounts were higher for each category.  Over $19,000 realized for MABL Foundation Mission

Strategic Plan

MABL is working on a detailed 3–year strategic plan, facilitated by Judge Peter Reyes of the MN Court of Appeals

Judicial Workshop

Held a very successful Judicial Workshop, with support from the Infinity Project for members and community. Workout sessions included specific resources for junior, mid-career and vintage practitioners.  Audience included those considering opportunities on the bench and judges who may consider changes in the future.

Community Outreach

Conducted 5 very successful sessions on the following key issues – (wrap up and action plan meeting coming up in July).

1.      Tools for Legislation & Advocacy,

2.      Health

3.      Housing

4.      Education

5.      Economic Development


·         Testified before the Sentencing Guidelines Commission

·         Anti-shackling


·         Conducted membership survey for pulse on and about MABL

·         Updated membership profile section on website to include searchable database for lawyer referrals

·         Improved job listing at mabl.org

Law Students

·         Held Law Student Soiree for incoming law students

·         Continued and focused support of law students throughout the year, including resume workshops, interviewing skills, class success skills, etc. 

·         All of the BLSA students that MABL worked with through its Law School Committee secured summer clerkships

·         Intentional support for summer internship

·         Held an inaugural Law Student/Summer Intern cookout - with panelists discussing success strategies, socializing and more – special thanks to Stinson Leonard Street for co-sponsoring the event!

Volunteer Events

·         Leadership work on 2017 Open Doors Program

o    Preparation and facilitation of Implicit bias training

o    Preparation of case studies for use in classrooms

o    Training of participants/volunteers

·         Books for Africa – Sorting books for shipment to African countries


·         Bylaw amended to include Immediate Past President position for increased efficiency and institutional knowledge

Minority Judges Reception

·         Held another successful Minority Judges Reception


·         Supported and participated in Mayor Sayles Belton Statue project/unveiling


 ·            Cosponsored and participated in the Affinity Bar Job Symposium.  MABL members were panelists, offering guidelines to students of color. 

·               Cosponsored and participated in the first Affinity Bar Leadership Dinner/social

·            VLN – Race, Policy and Justice Workshop

    ·            BFA Law and Democracy Project – Law Day event at Fredrikson

·            People of Color Career Fair

·            American Constitutional Society - American Denial Movie and Panel discussion

·            Diversity Report with Affinity Bar 



·         Avoiding Common Ethical Problems CLE

Participation/collaboration with MSBA

·         Affinity Bar Committee

·         Diversity and Inclusion Committee

·         Amicus on issues of shared concern – Karen Riley case

·         Policy Series


·         Annual Picnic

·         Annual Presidents’ Dinner

·         Severs Corn Maze


·          Work towards 2021

MABL Foundation

·          Work ongoing

October 7, 2016: 2016 MABL Foundation Scholarship Applications Due

Apply here.

September 9, 2016: Profiles in Courage Award Nominations Due

Please consider nominating someone today for the 2016 Profiles in Courage Award.  The award is presented at the MABL Gala each year.  Apply here.

June 16, 2016: General Meeting at TBD at 6:00 p.m. 

February 18, 2016: General Meeting at TBD at 6:00 p.m.

November 14, 2015: 20th Annual MABL Scholarship Gala at Marriott City Center, Minneapolis

October 15, 2015: General Meeting at Stinson Leonard Street LLP at 6:00 p.m.

September 19, 2015: Minnesota Black Women Lawyers Network's Law Student Orientation (co-sponsored by MABL)

MABL co-sponsored an orientation for female minority law students from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on September 19, 2015.   The orientation, which was held in Giddens Learning Center on Hamline's Campus, Room 100E, covered the following topics:

  • Time Management
  • Unwritten Rules for Success
  • Issues Facing Women in the Law
  • Breakout sessions will include the following:
  • Employment law
  • Corporate law
  • Family law/solo practice
  • Admin law/civil rights/legal services
  • Criminal law
  • Judicial clerkships
  • Intellectual Property
  • 1st Year Experience 

2014-2015 TERM IN REVIEW 

The 2014-2015 term was an extremely busy and successful year for MABL.  Highlights of accomplishments from the fiscal year include:

Organization Business

        • The Gala generated a profit after running at a deficit for two years
        • The Filings with the Attorney General were completed after being neglected since 2007
        • The filings with the IRS were brought up-to-date without incurring penalties or fees


        • FBA Women in the Law
        • Minnesota Women Lawyers Conference
        • MSBA Magna Carta
        • Sever's Corn Maze with HCBA's Civil Litigation Section 


        • Red Father documentary screening in collaboration with American Constitutional Society 
        • Mall of America Black Lives Matter Protest in collaboration with MSBA
        • Path to the Federal Bench in collaboration with HCBA, FBA, and others


        • Community Fair at University of St. Thomas School of Law
        • Happy Hour to celebrate Artika Tyer's book, Lawyer as Leader
        • Annual Minority Judge Reception at U.S. Courthouse, Minneapolis
        • MABL Networking Membership Event, May 30, 2015 
        • Paving the Road Ahead: Women of Color in the Law
        • Open Doors to Federal Courts - Thurgood Marshall 

 General Membership Meetings

        • MABL Summer BBQ, September 20, 2014
        • General Membership Meeting at Hamline School of Law, April 9, 2015 
        • Annual Meeting at MSBA Offices, June 18, 2015

Member Offerings

        • MWL Leadership Lecture - Table
        • Thurgood at the Illusion Theater - Sponsorship and free tickets to members
        • Campaign for Legal Aid - Sponsorship
        • Real Talk - Sponsorship and free tickets to members to attend live showing
        • MABL Judicial Committee - offers mock interviews and letters of support to eligible members


        • Letter to Minnesota Senators in support of more attorneys of color on the federal bench
        • Guest on MPR regarding police and body cameras 
        • Letter in support of Minneapolis repeal of lurking and spitting ordinances

Other Meeting Issues of Note:

Elected Slate for 2015-2016 :  

President:  Maria Mitchell, Hennepin County Public Defender

Vice President:  Michael Essien, Essien Law Office

Secretary:  Camille Bryant, Hennepin County Public Defender

Treasurer:  Angela Porter, Dorsey & Whitney

Member At-Large:  Amran Farah, Waldeck Law Firm P.A.

Member At-Large:  Charmaine Harris, Blackwell Burke P.A.

Guest Speakers:

Marianne Ellis of the Office of the Attorney General is willing to make herself available to answer questions and provide general infromation for any MABL member interested in applying to the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Minnesota   

Lindsay W. Davis of MSBA would like to encourage MABL members to apply for the MSBA Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee (LAD).  For additional information follow this link.

meet mabl 


Amran Farah
Vice President:
Franklin Aba-Onu
Athena Hollins
Taylor Moore-Willis
At-Large Directors:  
Annsara Elasky
Angi Porter
Gloria Stamps-Smith 
Davida Williams
Lauren Yates
Immediate Past President:
Michael Essien

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Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers

P.O. Box 582892
Minneapolis, MN 55458-2892
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