National Bar Association brings 97th annual convention to Memphis

The National Bar Association (NBA) is bringing its 97th Annual Convention to the Bluff City July 24-29.

Nearly 1,000 predominately African American judges, attorneys and advocates are expected in Memphis during the five-day event, according to a release from the NBA.

With more than 60,000 members and 84 affiliate chapters across the United States, Canada, the UK, Morocco and the Caribbean, the NBA is the largest and oldest organization of predominantly African American judges and attorneys in the world.

This year’s theme is “S.T.A.N.D. UP: Strong Tenacious Advocacy for a New Deal,” the release said.

Honorees include Fred Gray, a civil rights attorney, activist, and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and Judge Mablean Ephraim, former judge of the popular television series Divorce Court.

The main events are being held at the Renasant Convention Center, 225 N. Main Street, which is attached to the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel.

Members and non-members are encouraged to attend.

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Other events include the NBA’s 40 Under 40 gala recognizing some of the best and brightest attorneys of color, according to the release.

Informative panels of industry experts will address topics such as Diversity In Tech, Black Prosecutors Matter, The State of the Black Woman Lawyer In America, and the importance of Diversity in the Workplace.

Award-winning ‘90s R&B group Dru Hill will headline the entertainment at the FedExForum.

Judge Carlos E. Moore, the 79th President of the National Bar Association, said he believes that Memphis is the perfect place to host the 2022 convention because of its rich civil rights history:

“As a result of what happened in Memphis during the ‘60s Civil Rights Movement, laws were put in place to support equality and ensure fairness. Unfortunately and especially of late, we’ve seen a rise in the public outcry for justice, as crimes against people of color have escalated, bringing to the forefront an even greater need for diverse lawyers and judges with a unique understanding of both the legal system and the people of color they are supposed to serve,” Moore said. “During this year’s NBA convention, we are focused on equipping those on the frontlines with the tools they need, to be impactful as legal professionals and business owners, in the face of hate crimes, police brutality, sexism, racism, and the like.”

The NBA is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Washington D.C.