Stetson University College of Law’s Black Law Students Association was recently named Chapter of the Year for the Southern Region for outstanding community activism. The Stetson student group was selected from a pool of 43 law school chapters in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The students were honored during the Southern Regional BLSA Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 30-Feb. 3.
BLSA students at Stetson regularly participate in community events to advance social justice, including mentoring Boca Ciega High School students through the BLSA Drive to Strive Program and volunteering to assist people seeking petitions to restore their voting rights. The students participate in St. Petersburg’s Community Law Fest and play an integral role in educating community members about accessible legal resources.
“BLSA pays it forward through ongoing neighborhood assistance programs,” said Stetson Law Professor Darryl C. Wilson, BLSA faculty adviser. “The group provides a comfortable atmosphere and leadership opportunities for students. This victory acknowledges the Stetson chapter of BLSA as a model for other institutions seeking the optimal blend of legal and social interaction between their students and the citizens where those schools are located.”
In March of this year, Stetson’s BLSA chapter will represent the southern region in the Chapter of the Year Large Division Competition during the National Black Law Students Association Convention in Atlanta, Ga.
“The National Black Law Students Association, as a whole, strives to instill in the Black attorney and law student a greater awareness and commitment to the needs of the Black community,” said Stetson’s student BLSA president, Lakeisha Simms. “Being recognized for our efforts in reaching the NBLSA’s goals is an honor that I hope will motivate our future Stetson BLSA chapters to achieve more.”
In addition to Simms, the Stetson BLSA student executive board includes students Charis Campbell, Cindy Cumberbatch, Keyara Franklin, Brannon R. Gary, Angelica Jones and Valeria Obi.
The National Black Law Students Association is the nation’s largest student-run organization, representing nearly 6,000 minority law students from more than 200 chapters and affiliates throughout the U.S. and six other countries.