The Muslim Bar Association of Southern California prepared this document in collaboration with local Southern California Attorneys in hopes of combating racism and anti-blackness. MBASC hopes this document will benefit the legal practitioners within our community. If you have additional information or resources to share, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download our full statement here or read it below.
In the Name of God the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
MBASC Action Items for Combating Racism and Anti-Blackness
This document was prepared by the Muslim Bar Association of Southern California, in collaboration with Zulu Ali, Esq., Wali Abdul-Malik, Esq., and Tarek Shawky, Esq. We hope this document will be of benefit to legal practitioners within our community. Please send any additional information or resources to email@example.com .
1. Recommit to holding on to and practicing the Islamic principles of justice and mercy.
2. Provide better access to legal resources specifically for the black community. If you are able to take on pro bono cases in any practice area, please notify MBASC and we can circulate a list of names to Islah LA masjid, Masjid Al-Shareef, and other organizations serving the black community.
a. Find a pro bono directory on the State Bar of California website.
3. Build alliances with inner-city, African American organizations that focus on at-risk youth and inmate/prison advocacy (e.g. stop-and-frisk workshops, mentorships, juvenile and inmate resources).
4. Volunteer with a legal aid group or other organizations that provide free legal aid to underserved communities. Find a criminal defense attorney and offer them your pro bono services in cases where the defendant is from a minority community.
5. Take some time to observe criminal proceedings in courts where the criminal defendants are most likely to be from a minority community.
6. Identify your specific areas of professional and social influence and find a way to leverage your influence to advance the issue of racial justice.
7. Conduct a critical and truthful self analysis to look at the biases you may harbor regarding minority groups generally and African Americans in particular. Acknowledge these biases and privileges, and find a way to overcome our biases and utilize our privilege to empower our Black brothers and sisters. Host a pre-scheduled talk about these issues with your staff. A toolkit of resources can be found on http://www.muslimarc.org/toolkits .
8. Get educated about the historical factors and developments regarding the treatment of African Americans and other minorities in the American criminal justice system. Actively share those findings with others including professional colleagues, family members, and friends.
9. Speak truth to power and be proactive. Speak up when you suspect or witness inequities and unfair treatment to anyone, particularly where a person of color is involved.
10. Promote and encourage careers within the criminal justice system that allow a broader representation and perspective (i.e. prosecutor, public and private criminal defense, probation services, etc.).