Congratulations to the chair of the Community Coalition on Race for receiving this honor from the National Bar Association, which is the oldest and largest national association of predominantly African American lawyers and judges. Read his comments below:
Honored to be recognized by the Corporate Law Section of the National Bar Association-an organization that since 1925 has fought for opportunities for attorneys of color in the legal profession and equal rights for persons in the community of color. Special to be recognized by your peers who appreciate the challenges required to excel in this profession and yet are often time over-looked by majority legal associations.
Want to thank my late parents who instilled in this boy from the projects of Brooklyn that he could excel to any heights notwithstanding no one in our family had ever attended college. ALSO, want to thank my wife and partner for 37 years for making this all possible.
I have been guided throughout my career my the example and words of two giants in the legal professions and former NBA members-Justice Thurgood Marshall and Dean Charles Houston Hamilton. Justice Marshall often reminded us- particularly those high brow Negroes as he was want to say-that no one got to where you are solely by pulling oneself up by the bootstraps.We got here because someone bent down and helped us pull up the boot.Dean Charles Hamilton Houston, responsible the brilliant legal strategies thatlaid the groundwork for many legal victories securing our rights, noted that we,attorneys, can be either a social engineer-using our skills for solving problems and helping the underprivileged and those in need or a selfish parasite on society. I chose the former and to always be reminded of how I got to where Iam. There are many of you in the room today who by your actions and commitment have chosen the same course despite the personal and professional sacrifices required.Given the challenging and threatening times in which we live I would encourage us all to think about how we can further the mission of the NBA as well as protectors of the rights that so many fought and died for. The sense of urgency is real as I for one would not thought that in my lifetime I would see a display in public where white men AND white women acted as if they were at a Ku Klux Klan rally and be hailed as patriots by the President of the United States.
Those fearful of the “other” and losing their privileged status will go to any lengths to maintain the status quo.
Again I am honored by this special award and look forward to our working together to ensure progress and not dread. Thank you.
Robert A. Marchman,Senior Executive Championing Customer Protection, Regulatory Compliance and Diversity & Inclusion at FINRA, NYSE & SEC