March 1979- The Historic BALSA 1979 National Law Convention

Black American Law Students Association
Black American Law Students Association

The historic Black American Law Students Association, 11th Annual National Convention, March 28-April 1, 1979, Hyatt, Oakland, was themed: “The Reconstruction of Black Civilizations.” Dedicated to- Rev. Ben Chavis of the Wilmington Ten, Introduction- Mayor Lionel Wilson, Keynote Speaker- Min. Louis Farrakhan, with veritable “Who’s Who” of nations leading Black presenters: Junius Williams- Pres. National BAR Association , Hon. Ben Travis, Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim, Attorney Don Warden (Khalid al-Mansour), Attorney Roger Holmes (Dr. Faisal Fahad Al-Talal), Dave Wilmont-Georgetown Law Center; Attorney Howard Moore, Alfred Slocum- Rutgers School of Law, Angela Davis, Victor Goode- Ex. Dir. NCBL, Hon. Judith Ford, Herb Reed- Howard School of Law, Asa Hilliard, Nathan Hare, Ron Baily- Northwestern University, Attorney Michael Ashburne, David Hall- FTC, Denice Carty Bernia- North Eastern University; Kwame Mathews- NCBL, Ray Richardson- San Francisco State Ethnic Studies Dept., Jackie Hubbard- New College of Law & Public Defender’s Office, San Francisco, Sharon Meadows- Bay View Hunter’s Point Community Defenders, San Francisco, Yvonne King- NCBL College of Law, Dave Wilmont- Georgetown Law Center, I.P.J. Obebe- Nigerian Consulate General, Carlton Lowe- Attorney of the FTC, Prexy Nesbitt- Institute for Policy Studies, Theo Ben-Guirirab- SWAPO, Moot Court Judges: Hon. Wiley Manuel, Hon. Clinton White, Hon. David Cunningham, Hon. Allen Broussard, Entertainment/Dance- Wajumbe Dancers & The Vocal Workshop, Bridge with Paul Smith; the BALSA, National BAR Association, NCBL, CHARLES HOUSTON BAR Association, CABL, NAACP, NLG; with “Thanks” to- Attorney John Burris, Attorney Peter Cohen, Attorney Claude Ames, Attorney Robert Harris, Attorney Eva Patterson, and Attorney George Holland.

There are well known names in Black history, after whom schools and holidays have been named. They range from Toussant L’ Overture to Dr. Martin Luther King. They include Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois, Harriet Tubman, George Jackson, and Marcus Garvey. 

Aside from the obvious commonality among them, that they all contributed mightily to our three hundred year struggle, there is another distinguishing similarity. They are all dead. 

BALSA, through it’s national convention committee, pays tribute to our past leadership. This year, however, the convention is to be dedicated to a living leader; one by whose example the whole world has seen not only the strength, character, and dedication of which we are all capable, but also the duplicity and hypocrasy of all levels of our government, up to the chief executive, in imprisoning a person for his beliefs. 

The term “political prisoner” is now being echoed in the halls of the United Nations and is rolling of the letters of Amnesty International, making reference to the United States because of this man. 

At this convention, BALSA intends to excite the minds of each delegate to return home and begin a nationwide campaign of effective agitation for this man’s release from prison. 

This year, BALSA dedicates it’s convention to none other than the REVEREND BEN CHAVIS of the Wilmington Ten. 


Ben Chavis and Wilmington 10
Ben Chavis and Wilmington 10

“As we seek to awaken and to re-educate, let us also seek to reunify, let us further seek to give concrete assistance to the Patriotic Front and to all other freedom fighters. As we surely struggle together, we will surely win together.” Reverend Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. Hillsborough, North Carolina State Prison November 1978 

Program and Itinerary for the 11th Convention 

Wednesday March 28th

8:30am – 5pm Registration 

9am – 2pm Tours and Lunch on your own 

2pm Greetings from the Convention Coordinator and 

Introduction of the Board, Committee Chairs & Taskforce Chairs 

Speaker:  The Honorable Lionel Wilson, Mayor of Oakland “Alameda Room” 

2:30pm – 4pm Press Conference “In the Case of Weber” with representation from BALSA, NBA, NCBL, CHARLES HOUSTON, CABL, NAACP & NLG “Alameda Room” 

4pm – 5:30pm Committee & Taskforce Meetings 

Elections- Rosalyn Bates, Chair, San Leandro Room 

Resolutions- Clifton Graves, Chair, Petaluma Room 

Credentials- Joset Wright, Chair Atherton Room

Greivances- Joe Knight, Chair, Castro Valley Room 

Affirmative Action- Laurence Mayberry, Chair, San Leandro Room 

Constitution- Christine Tripp, Chair, San Lorenzo Room 

Southern Africa- Julialynne Walker, Chair, San Lorenzo Room

Black Human Rights- Kwame Mathews, Chair, San Lorenzo Room 

4pm – 5pm  Film: “Last Grave at Dimbaza”, Alameda Room 

5pm – 7pm  Dinner On Your Own (Hugo’s by Reservation Only)

7pm – 9pm  Workshops

Survival of Black Institutions

Kwame Mathews, Board Member NCBL College of Law “The Present Plight of Black Educational Institutions” 

(slide presentation) 

Ray Richardson, San Francisco State Ethnic Studies Dept. 

“Strategies for Maintaining Black Independent Institutions” 

San Leandro Room 

Criminal Law 

Jackie Hubbard, New College of Law & Public Defender’s Office, San Francisco 

“How to be Good Public Defenders” 

Howard Moore, Bell & Moore, Oakland 

“Strategies for Criminal Defense: The Skills Required

Sharon Meadows, Bay View Hunter’s Point Community Defenders, San Francisco 

“Political Use of the Law: The Case of Geronimo Pratt” *Richmond Room* 

Prisons and the Black Community

African National Prison Organization Staff 

“Why There Must be a National Campaign Against the Prison System” 

Yvonne King, student NCBL College of Law “Prison Struggles and the Law Student”, Petaluma Room 

Exam Writing, Bar Passage & Retention 

Dave Wilmont, Georgetown Law Center “Retention of Law Students in the Bakke Era” 

Victor Goode, Executive Director NCBL “Blacks and Bar Passage”, Atherton Room 

9pm – 11pm  Meet the Candidates (Speeches) Cheese & Wine Reception *Alameda Foyer” 

11pm – 1pm Films: “Free Namibia” “Six Days at Soweto”, Alameda Room 

Thursday March 29th

8:30am – 5pm Registration 

9am – 1pm Official Opening and Plenary Session, Alameda Room 

Keynote Speaker: Junius Williams, President, National Bar Association 

1pm – 2pm Lunch On Your Own 

3pm – 6pm Preliminary Moot Court Competition 

(Hastings College of Law) 

2pm – 5pm Workshops 

“International Law & Foreign Policy” 

I.P.J. Obebe, Nigerian Consulate General 

Babs M. Williams, Western House, Lagos, Nigeria 

E. Olu Bereola, Vice President 

Impex Industries International 

Staff of Jones, Holmes & Warden, San Francisco 

Oakland Room C 

3pm – 5pm Workshops 

Sports & Entertainment Law 

Abdul-Jalil NBC Interview
Abdul-Jalil NBC Interview

“Black Athletes: A Call for More Black Sports Lawyers” 

Micheal Ashburne, private practice attorney, San Francisco 

Carol Lawrence, Film Producer 

“Entertainment Law” 

Oakland Room B 

Consumer Fraud 

Judy Ford & Judy Johnson, Consumer Fraud 

Unit of the D.A.’s Office, San Francisco 

“Consumer Fraud & the Black Community”, Oakland Room A 

5pm – 5:30pm Organizational Meeting With Chapter Presidents, Oakland Room D 

5pm – 7pm  Dinner On Your Own (Dinner meetings with Committees, Taskforces, and Chapter Presidents)

7pm – 8pm  Regional Caucuses, Oakand A, B, C, D, & San Leandro Rooms

8pm – 10pm  Films: “Malcolm X” “Last Grave at Dimbaza”, Alameda Room

Friday March 30th 

8:30am – 5pm Registration 

9am – 1pm Plenary Session (Resolutions), “Alameda Room” 

Speaker: The Honorable Mayor A.J. Cooper, Pritchard, Alabama 

1pm – 3pm Lunch On Your Own (Travel to Hastings College of Law for Afternoon and Evening Activities) 

3pm – 6pm Workshops 

(Note: All Friday workshops will be video taped & shown on Saturday) 

Affirmative Action 

Herb Reed, Howard School of Law 

“Affirmative Action and the U.S. Constitution” 

Alfred Slocum, Rutgers School of Law 

“Strategies in Admissions After Bakke” 

Denice Carty Bernia, Prof. North Eastern University, Boston, Mass. 

Chair of NCBL Legal Education & Bar Admissions Taskforce “Future Directions & Strategies in Affirmative Action” 

Sandra Jones, student Boalt Hall & Northern California Board Member LSCRRC 

“Law School Admissions Programs & Policy Since Bakke” 

Victor Goode, Executive Director NCBL 

“Employment in the Face of Present Litigation” 

Reproductive Rights 

Angela Davis, New College of Law & The Alliance 

“The Fight to Maintain Reproductive Control” 

Commercial Law 

Dana Stephens & staff, NBA 

6pm – 8pm Dinner Reception (Honoring Our Judges and Elected Officials) *Hastings College of Law The Commons 

Keynote: Bruce Wright 

8pm – 10pm  Moot Court Finals 

“Hastings College of Law* 

11pm – 12pm  An Informal Discussion on the Cuban Festival 

Speakers: Teresa Cropper, National President & Cuban Festival delegate and Sandra Jones, Boalt Hall student & Cuban Festival delegate, “Richmond Room” 

11pm – 1:30pm Disco & Fashion Show, *Hyatt House, Alameda Room* 

Saturday March 31st

10am – 3pm Registration

10am – 1pm Plenary Session (Elections & Residual Resolutions), “Alameda Room”

Speaker: Denice Carty Bernia, Professor, North Eastern University, Boston, Mass.

10am – 1pm Law Day, “Hayward Room”

3pm – 5pm Workshops

Psychiatry, Psychology, & The Law

Michael Wright, Phd Clinical Psychology & student at Boalt Hall

“The LSAT and it’s Non-Predictiveness”

Asa Hilliard, San Francisco State, Dean of Education

“The Sham of Educational Standardixed Test”

Nathan Hare, Sociologist, Historian, Psychologist

“The History of Jurisprudence and the Mental Health of Black People”, Oakland Room D

Consumer Protection

David Hall & Carlton Lowe, Attorney of the FTC

“Consumerism in the Black Community”, Oakland Room C

Video Tapes Oakland Rooms A & B

2pm – 5pm Workshops

Southern Africa

Prexy Nesbitt, Institute for Policy Studies- Visiting Fellows Africa Project, “Waging a Successful S. A. Bank Campaign”

Ron Baily, Chicago Committee for a Free Africa & Prof. Afro-Studies & Political Science Departments North Western University & People’s College, “Free Zimbabwe: Sell S. A. Stock!; The Case of Chicago”

Theo Ben-Guirirab; SWAPO Observer Mission, “The Patriotic Front: Analysis & Progress”

Ruth Gordon, student N.Y.U. & summer intern for NLG S. A. Project, “University Response to Divestment Activities” 

6pm – 7pm Cash Bar, “Alameda Foyer”

7pm – 10pm Banquet, “Alameda Room”

Keynote: Minister Louis Farrakhan

Entertainment: Wajumbe Dancers & The Vocal Workshop

11pm- ? Entertainment/Dance, “Alameda Room”

Featuring Bridge with Paul Smith

Sunday April 1st

9am- ? Executive Sessions

9am- 12 pm Tours

9am- 12 pm Video Tapes

“San Lorenzo Room”

12 noon Convention Formally Over

Exhibits and Booths are available Thursday through Saturday ($25 for agencies and businesses and $15 for artist and non-profit organizations)

Job interviews in Castro Valley Room

BALSA Proudly Presents Our Keynote Speaker 

Minister Louis Abdul Farrakhan- Nation of Islam National Balsa Conference 1979
Minister Louis Abdul Farrakhan- Nation of Islam National Balsa Conference 1979

Minister Louis Abdul Farrakhan 

Minister Farrakhan has been a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammed for the past 23 years since 1955. On the death of Malcolm X, in 1965, Minister Farrakhan became the minister of the Harlem Mosque. In 1967, he became the National Representative and Spokesman for Elijah Muhammed. As a result, the minister has spoken at all major educational and theological institutions and over 100 cities in America. He has lectured in the Carribeans, South America and Africa. He has been invited as a guest of several countries including Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba, Ugunda, Libya, Egypt, Saudia Arabia, and Nigeria. 

In 1977, he decided to take up the responsibility of helping restore the work of Elijah in the Nation of Islam. 

Minister Farrakhan is married and has 9 children. He is presently residing in Chicago. 

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