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News Release

For Immediate Release
March 9, 2018

For More Information, Contact:
                                      Brett Schuster, Communications Manager

Coalition of Bar Associations of Color Holds Annual Meeting
Advocates Before Congressional Congressional Representatives on
Issues Affecting Communities of Color


WASHINGTON — Last week the Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) gathered in the nation’s capital for its Annual Meeting. CBAC's leaders discussed key issues affecting communities of color, and drafted joint resolutions in support of DACA, legal representation for minor children asylum seekers, criminal justice reform, judicial vacancies, Puerto Rico recovery, Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), and banning “conversion therapy” practices for individuals under 18 years of age.

Read the CBAC Resolutions here.

This year's joint advocacy efforts included visits with key members of Congress. CBAC leaders met with the offices of U.S. Senators John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley, David Perdue, Tim Scott, and Orrin Hatch, as well as U.S. Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Bob Goodlatte, Joe Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Alma Adams, and Hank Johnson, among others. U.S. Representative Nanette Barragan, from California, addressed CBAC participants and answered questions during the CBAC annual dinner. For 26 years, CBAC leadership has worked to find solutions to issues of mutual concern for its constituent communities across the country. The Coalition is proud of their joint efforts over the years, but understands that work remains to be done.

“The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) was proud and privileged to host this year's CBAC and work with each of the CBAC member organizations, NBA, NAPABA, and NNABA, to bring awareness and effectuate change related to critical issues common to each of our organizations during our meetings with Congress last week,” said HNBA National President Erica V. Mason. “The HNBA, the national voice of the Hispanic community, is honored to have the opportunity, through CBAC, to advocate and support issues related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, representation for minor children asylum seekers, criminal justice reform, diversity in the federal judiciary, Puerto Rico's recovery from Hurricane Maria, the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and the banning of harmful sexual orientation and gender "conversion therapy" practices.”

“It is more important than ever that diverse bar leaders meet with members of Congress to promote a legislative agenda that supports communities of color,” said NAPABA President Pankit J. Doshi. “I was proud to represent NAPABA—along with our Coalition of Bar Associations of Color counterparts HNBA, NBA, and NNABA—to urge Congress to take bipartisan action to protect the DREAMers, support lawyers in the public sector, and promote diverse judicial nominees.”

“The National Bar Association was excited once again to work with its sister bar organizations on an agenda to improve the lives of all Americans,” said NBA President Juan Thomas. “The NBA was proud to visit members of Congress and demonstrate our shared vision for a better America. We realize that our organizations are stronger and better when we are able to work together.”

“Thank you to the visionary leaders who founded the Coalition of Bar Associations of Color 26 years ago. It is because of their vision we, the National Native American Bar Association, and with our national sister bar associations, have continued our annual advocate day in our Nation’s capital. This year’s advocate day was another impactful and successful one focusing on immigration, diversity in the judiciary, criminal justice reform and public loan forgiveness programs,” said NNABA President Diandra D. Benally.

CBAC was established in 1992 and is comprised of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA). CBAC meets annually every spring so that leaders from its member organizations can discuss issues of mutual concern and advocate in support of their shared interests. For more information contact:

HNBA Contact: Alba Cruz-Hacker (
NAPABA Contact: Navdeep Singh (
NBA Contact: Cheryl Gray Evans (
NNABA Contact: Linda Benally (

CBAC partners: 

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. The HNBA is also committed to advocacy on issues of importance to the 58+ million people of Hispanic heritage living in the U.S. From the days of its founding in 1972, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession and society at large. It does so by encouraging diversity in the legal profession, judiciary, and legislature through improved recruitment, retention and promotion of Latinos; by providing educational, professional and economic development opportunities and programs; by strengthening the educational pipeline; by empowering the Latino community through legal, financial, and educational literacy initiatives; and by advocating on issues that affect the community. Through the combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations succeed.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation's oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.