The year 2020 have been a whirlwind for the entire globe, and specifically for the United States. Beginning in March, the spread of COVID-19 has kept approximately one-third of Americans working from home and the entire nation social distancing from friends and family. During this already historic moment, we arrived at another important chapter in the history of the United States. The murder of George Floyd awakened much of our country to the fight for racial justice and need for police reform. We have watched, and many of us have participated, as protestors take to the streets in cities and towns all across America and the world to demand racial equality, racial justice, and the end of police action that brutalizes Black Americans and people of color.
As pro bono professionals, leaders, and volunteers, we continuously look to the communities in which we live and work to identify issues and individuals in need of legal assistance. Communities across the country need pro bono services to advance racial equity. When PBI began planning its first ever virtual conference in March, the emerging pro bono needs brought on by the pandemic were front and center. After the killing of George Floyd in May, addressing systemic racism became a vital focus.
Creating opportunities to address racial injustice in this country, PBI was fortunate to present three exceptional keynote speakers to our conference: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, political leader and nonprofit CEO Stacey Abrams, and Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke.