Jason Clark installed as president of Metropolitan Black Bar Association
The Metropolitan Black Bar Association, a citywide association of African-American and other minority lawyers, installed its new slate of officers and directors, including new president Jason M. Clark, during a ceremony at Proskauer Rose in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Hon. L. Priscilla Hall served as master of ceremonies for the event, and she called the extent to which the organization has changed since its first installation in 1984 “remarkable.”
“This is really a fabulous location,” Justice Hall said. “The first installation was at 111 Centre St. in a courtroom where our first president, Shirley Stewart Farmer, was installed. She sang at that installation. She was a fabulous person and we’re getting ready to install more fabulous officers and board members this evening.”
Before Clark was installed, the officers and directors were installed. Justice Hall introduced H. Carl McCall, the chairman of the board at SUNY, as the keynote speaker. He talked about meeting Clark when he was the student president of the Bronx High School of Science approximately two decades ago.
“I observed his talents then,” McCall said of Clark. “He was the president of the senior class. Early on he expressed his interest in service, and it was clear that he was destined for some significant achievements in his career.”
McCall then went through Clark’s list of accomplishments, which included his work with Manhattan’s Community Board 10 to set up the board’s first legal clinic and a free tutoring program that he created to help prepare low-income students to take the test to get into NYC’s specialized high schools.
“Jason is a man of legal aptitude, political astuteness and civic commitment,” McCall said. “The MBBA would be hard pressed to find a better person to lead them in such a critical time in this nation’s history.”
After McCall’s speech, Hon. George B. Daniels swore in Clark and the other officers, including Anta Cisse-Green as president-elect, Luwick Francois as vice president of programs, Justina Rivera as vice president of membership, Conway Ekpo as vice president of finance, Paula Edgar, the immediate past president, as treasurer, Malikah Fulton as secretary and Areal Allen-Stewart as general counsel.
The new members of the board of directors were installed by Judge Daniels, including Dawn Reed Green, Karume James, Jenesha Tai, Jomarie Crawford, Barbara Graves-Poller, Turquoise Haskins, Wayne S. McKenzie, Alison Moore, Calvin Wingfield, Carolyn Edgar, Carl Forbes, Jr., Zalika Pierre and Nicole Lister Arrindell.
Following the installation, Clark, an assistant attorney general at the Harlem Regional Office, laid out the theme of his presidency — “I am a solution.”
“We’re not just out there networking and making sure that we’re developing our own careers, we’re also going to be making sure that we have a track record of doing things to help others as well,” said Clark, a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School.
Clark then spoke about programs to help support members who want to go on to become judges or even just to move up within their law firms. He also mentioned working with communities to organize regular voter registration drives and host legal clinics to help people with issues such as immigration, housing and other economic justice issues.
“When I look at the people in this room, all I see are solutions,” Clark said. “MBBA, what are you?”
“I am a solution,” the room answer back in unison.
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