NBPA President’s Message
We have been blessed to experience another wonderfully organized Annual Conference and Job Fair in New Orleans. For those of you unable to attend, you definitely missed a treat. The host committee is to be commended for all of their tireless effort. A special thanks goes out to our phenomenal Planning Committee Co-Chairs, Rhonda Goode-Douglas, Helina Dayries, and Suntrease Williams. They went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure every attendee had a wonderful time in Nawlins. Special congratulations are also extended to Suntrease Williams, this year’s Youth Conference Chairperson, and Audrey Moore, our Job Fair Coordinator. This was our fourth Youth Conference and was, by all accounts, an overwhelming success. Our Job Fair has become the model for prosecution-centered job fairs around the country thanks to Audrey’s commitment and dedication. This was Audrey’s (and her committee’s) seventh year handling our Job Fair. I would be remiss if I did not also extend a heartfelt thanks to April Christine and Ayodele (Af) Olusunde, our By-Laws Committee Co-Chairs. They, along with their committee, undertook the Herculean task of revising our by-laws. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank them for their unbelievable hard work and to thank you for the hearty debate and discussion during the plenary session.
I want to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity afforded me to continue serving this incredible organization. I remain humbled by your confidence and trust. I remain committed to honoring that confidence and trust. Great things are already happening in the NBPA. I am expecting even more great things to take place this year. Our organization is at a tremendous yet critical time in its history. Incredible opportunity and awesome responsibility are staring us in the face. We will meet both with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm. I am excited about the NBPA. You should be too.
These past several months have seen the worst of times and the best of times. Personally, I suffered the devastating loss of my mother, Bettye W. Brown, on August 28th. She was my rock, my hero, my inspiration, and dealing with her loss has been a moment by moment endeavor. She was an educator for nearly forty (40) years and was the 1st person in our family to graduate from college. She completely poured herself into me, her firstborn, in an effort to mold me into the man God, my family, my community and the world needed me to be. I credit her with every positive thing I have ever done (the not so positive stuff I developed on my own!) Words are simply inadequate to express my gratitude for the love, care, and concern you have shown me and my family during this incredibly difficult time. The calls, the cards, the texts, the voicemails, the emails, the prayers, and the thoughts have simply meant the world to me. I will be forever indebted to you. Several of you also contributed to the scholarship we established in my mother’s honor. To date, we have collected $4,000 to assist needy high school students to pay for college! Her legacy continues.
The past several months also saw the utter destruction levied by Super Storm Sandy. As a south Florida resident for nearly my entire life, I am intimately familiar with hurricanes. But Sandy was something different. The sheer size of it made its path of destruction vast and unpredictable. The majority of our NBPA family in the northeast fared reasonably well. However, the same cannot be said for one of our beloved associate members, Ikeisha AlShabazz. “Ike” lost the use of her home due to the devastation of Super Storm Sandy. She and her mother purchased their Long Island dream home only a few short years ago. Ike’s two sons shared the home with her and her mother. Ike’s home was deemed uninhabitable forcing them to seek shelter elsewhere and rendering them effectively “homeless.” As you can imagine, this has been an incredibly trying time personally, psychologically, and financially. Ike, her mother, and the boys have had to start completely from scratch. They could really use our help. Several of us have already made donations of every kind to assist Ike and her family. Although she will never ask, she needs more help. A website has been established to accept donations for Ike. It is http://ikieshurricanerelief.com. Obviously, this will be a difficult holiday season for Ike and her family, but every little bit will help to restore some normalcy to an extremely abnormal situation. I (as well as Ike and her family) thank you in advance for what you are going to do.
We also enjoyed some great news over the past several months. First of all, Great Lakes Regional Director, Gino Betts, Jr. got married on September 21, 2012. We want to wish Gino and his wife years and years of martial bliss and a quiver of little Ginos and Ginas!! Next, and speaking of babies, Southern Regional Director Suntrease Williams (those who attended the conference will remember as the “extremely” pregnant, 4’10 fireplug serving as Regional Director, Conference Co-Chair, and Youth Conference Chair who travelled to the conference via bus from Brownsville, Texas against doctors’, husband’s, and everyone else’s orders) FINALLY gave birth to Sarai Maynard on September 9th. I guess baby Sarai was just as stubborn as her mommy! Sarai, big brother, mommy, and (recently speaking to Suntrease again) hubby are all doing fine!
Lastly, long time Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, NBPA member, and NBPA conference attendee, Jackie Lacey, was elected District Attorney for Los Angeles County! Jackie become the first African-American District Attorney for Los Angeles County. Congratulations Jackie on blazing the trail for all of us to follow. We are so proud of you!
Planning is well under way for our historic 30th Annual Conference & Job Fair in Orlando, Florida at the breathtaking Single Creek Resort. The Board of Directors has accepted the task of coordinating this epic event. If any of you would like to assist on any of the various committees, please feel free to contact the Board Member responsible for said committee or contact me directly. The committees (and their respective Committee Chairs) are as follows:
■ Hospitality: Olubunmi Salami & Ron McCormick
■ Transportation: Bruce Terry Brown
■ Off-site Events: Karen Gwynn & Carmen Lineberger
■ Lecturers: Suntrease Williams & Carmen Lineberger
■ CLE Credits: Carmen Lineberger
■ Souvenirs: Nyshana Sumner & Colleen Babb
■ Journal: Erika Gilliam-Booker & Tracye Jones
■ Budget: Nyshana Sumner & Bruce Terry Brown
■ Fundraising: Joshua Williams, Stuart Burns, Theo Lawson, Otis
Bruce, & Tony Covington
■ Registration: Michael Royster & Ron McCormick
■ Awards: Gino Betts, Jr.
■ Youth Conference: Karen Gwynn, Suntrease Williams, Gino Betts, Jr.
& Otis Bruce
■ Audio Visual Carmen Lineberger & Suntrease Williams
■ Photo Directory: Erika Gilliam-Booker & Bruce Terry Brown
■ Menu: Erika Gilliam-Booker, Karen Gwynn & Bruce Terry
We still are in need of State Representatives in many states. These individuals are responsible for identifying ALL of the Black prosecutors in their respective states. They are appointed by the President and report directly to the Regional Directors. Contact me directly if you are interested in serving.
Your Board of Directors has met telephonically at least once a month since the conference in New Orleans endeavoring to chart the future course of this amazing organization. We will continue to do so in the coming months. We are close to determining the location of our next several conferences. We have been researching many cities. If you have any cities you would like to consider, please do not hesitate to contact me.
As you can see, this is a busy and exciting time in the NBPA. We have accomplished much, yet we still have much to do. I am extremely excited about the next level. Together we can do it. Let’s make it happen.
Your Board of Directors wishes you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Kwanza, and a Prosperous New Year! Enjoy the family, food, and fellowship this most wonderful time of the year always brings. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Bruce Terry Brown
WHAT IS THE NBPA?
The National Black Prosecutors Association (NBPA) is the only professional membership organization dedicated to the advancement of blacks as prosecutors. Founded in 1983, the Association's membership is comprised of over 800 prosecutors nationwide and in Canada . It includes both chief and line prosecutors from local, state and federal offices. In addition to prosecutors, the association's membership includes law students, former prosecutors, and law enforcement personnel.
NBPA is emerging as the international association of black law enforcement professionals with a reputation for providing education and leadership in the legal profession through its intensive training sessions and multi-disciplined networking.
MISSION AND GOAL OF THE NBPA
The mission of the NBPA is reflected in the organization's commitment of the recruitment of blacks within the prosecutorial arm of the legal profession. It is to ensure not only retention of blacks in prosecution, but also to correct the dramatic inequity that exists with respect to black representation in the executive ranks of prosecutors' offices. A further goal is to recruit, train and mentor younger aspiring lawyers for leadership roles in the years ahead.
NBPA mission is realized through the following important goals:
To serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary communication, innovative training, professional development and camaraderie among blacks choosing careers in law enforcement.
To provide intensive training, both academic and practical, accommodating the wide variety of specializations within the membership.
To seek out and support young people interested in public service providing realistic exposure to the prosecutor's role as a vital member of the community.
To create a pool of legal scholars to provide and conduct symposiums on topics that are contemporary, germane, and on the cutting edge of the legal profession.
To create forums, both national and regional, which involve subjects that impact directly the needs and concerns of the black community.
To develop an international information network relevant to the needs of black law enforcement personnel.
To promote, strengthen and support the roles of blacks in all aspects of law enforcement.
NBPA has established a number of training programs in direct response to the needs of its membership.The annual convention serves as a comprehensive and intensive training session on innovative changes in the law, its application and consequences.
The regional symposiums provide up-to-the-minute information on explosive topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, civil rights violations, including hate crimes and police brutality, high-tech computer crime environmental issues, insurance fraud and urban, suburban and rural drug and gang wars
The regional school programs such as the High School Mentor Program in Los Angeles , California , Legal Lives: partnership for Respect of Esteem, the Adopt-a-School Program in Brooklyn , New York , and various other youth programs throughout the nation are either initiated or endorsed by NBPA members.
The purpose of these programs is to expose students to positive role models within the criminal justice system through law related education. These programs increase students' awareness of racial, cultural and religious diversity and broaden their knowledge of the criminal justice system and its relationship to the community. They further increase the students' awareness of the legal and social consequences of drug use.
The immediate goals of the NBPA are:
To establish a technological presence
To create a national database of all Black lawyers and law students
To establish regular regional training programs
To develop a youth crime prevention campaign