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National Bar Association to host voting rights forum with local leaders, Florida NAACP

Sens. Geraldine Thompson and Shervin Jones, Reps. Ashley Gantt and Dotie Joseph to participate in October 28 forum at Overtown Performing Arts Center

 Submitted by NBA Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Bar Association will host its 34th Annual Wiley A. Branton Symposium in Miami, Florida on October 26-29, 2023. In addition to a slate of seminars and national speakers, the symposium will feature a voting rights forum on Saturday, October 28th from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the historic Overtown Performing Arts Center. Local participants will engage in discussions intended to register and mobilize voters and educate voters on impending threats to democracy from recent voter suppression legislation in Florida.

“Florida received countless civil rights complaints over the last year, and continues to make national headlines for divisive policies, so the National Bar Association’s presence is needed more than ever,” said NBA President Dominique Calhoun. “We look forward to partnering with local leaders and organizations to advance democracy and renew the clarion call for fair and free elections.”

Wiley A. Branton was a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who rose to prominence as a civil rights attorney. Widely celebrated for his legal work with the Little Rock Nine, Branton confronted racial discrimination and injustice as a member of various social justice organizations, including the NBA. In his honor, the NBA will take time during the symposium to celebrate the heroic efforts of several Black lawyers in Florida and nationwide, including a keynote address by nationally acclaimed author and academic Eddie Glaude.

Founded in 1925, the National Bar Association is the oldest and largest association of Black lawyers, judges, and law professionals. The purpose of the NBA is to advance the science of jurisprudence, uphold the honor of the legal profession, promote social intercourse among members of the bar, and protect the civil and political rights of all citizens.

Please visit the NBA website to learn more.

A schedule of October 28 events: 

2:00-3:00 p.m. Voter Registration Drive

3:00-4:00 p.m. Know Your Rights (panel)

  • Carlos J. Martinez, Miami-Dade Public Defender
  • Steven Cary, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
  • Robert Barrar, attorney

4:00-5:00 p.m. Mobilizing for our Future (discussion)

  • Adora Obi Neweze, Florida NAACP
  • Tanya Clay House, Hip Hop Caucus
  • Daniella Pierre,NAACP Miami-Dade County Branch
  • Harold Ford, NAACP South Dade Branch

5:00-6:00 p.m. Legislative Threats to Democracy (panel)

  • Geraldine Thompson
  • Shevrin Jones
  • Ashley Gantt
  • Dotie Joseph
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