The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) is always pleased to highlight the involvements and accomplishments of our members. This past week, our National Director of Social Action, Germaine Austin, was invited to serve as a panelist at the National Bar Association’s (NBA) 85th Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme of this year’s convention was Standing on Shoulders, Keeping the Promise.
As a panelist, Austin sat on an election protection panel to provide a law student perspective on voter rights and election protection issues in the minority community. Other panelists included Harold Franklin, Partner, King & Spalding L.L.P.; Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee; Kristen Clarke, Co-Director, Political Participation Project NAACP Legal Defense Fund; and Bradley Heard, Senior Attorney, Advancement Project.
Germaine Austin offered the following insight during the panel discussion:
While everyone has their eye on the presidential election in 2012, we must not forget that the mid-term election is equally important. A lot is at stake. The candidates for presidency in the 2012 election will be faced with a number of pressing issues, including the war on terror, the economy, and unemployment. As students, we must continue to fight as knights of social justice and encourage others to register, educate themselves, and vote. We must also protect the elections process to ensure that it is both fair and encouraging, and we must be inventive and strategic while doing so.
Austin’s words are indicative of the sentiments of many students and individuals who are committed to preserving the unencumbered right to vote and protecting the Constitutional freedoms of our society. Information about election laws and election protection strategies and practice may be found on the NBLSA website at www.nblsa.org.
This story was originally published on August 18, 2010 at nblsa.org.