Honoring Black History Month

Message From the Dean on Black History Month

Honoring Black History Month

Dear NYLS Community,

Black history is American history. Together, we honor the countless Black Americans who built this country over generations, even as it refused to acknowledge their contributions, and whose drive and achievements continue to make better all parts of the law, culture, and society.

This year’s celebration comes at a deeply somber time, when Black Americans disproportionately bear the unjust burden of a global pandemic and a national crisis in policing.

Against this backdrop, our nation’s first female Black Vice President was sworn in days ago.

In her Inauguration Day remarks, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “Even in dark times, we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it.”

All of us are called to plant our flag on the moon. For, as much as Black History Month looks back on those who accomplished great things, it also celebrates the fact that history is still being written. And history’s authors are those who not only dream but also do.

Over the past year, so many young people showed America the power of action—by engaging in peaceful protest, by working to achieve free and fair elections, and by advancing critical racial justice and civil rights issues.

As lawyers, future lawyers, and those who support the profession, we can take action to write a more just and equitable history. Every day, we make choices about how we treat one another, where we direct our energy and skills, and how well we learn from the mistakes of the past.

You all have dreams. The world is waiting for all that you will do.

Dean Anthony W. Crowell

NYLS Black Law Students Association

NYLS Student Bar Association

Impact Center for Public Interest Law

Racial Justice Project

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion