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  A Word from the Chair

Greetings, Supreme Southwest, 

On behalf of the Regional Board of Directors for the Southwest Region of The National Black Law Students Association, I am proud to lead the region in its 9th year. 

My name is Oluwademilade O. Ogunlade, the Regional Chair and a second-year law student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern university. I am a Nigerian-American born and raised in Brooklyn, NY who is deeply committed to community empowerment.

 

Our Region is home to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and now New Mexico. We currently serve 20 law schools and upward of 1000 black law students. Our programming, initiatives, and mentorship have substantially impacted our members’ lives over the years, and we hope to enhance our legacy this year.

 

My predecessor, Maydrian A. Strozier-Lowe, of Texas Tech University School of Law, led this region with unwavering devotion and unparalleled strength. In navigating this term, I keep in mind Maydrian's faith and work-based strategies as the 8th Regional Chair.

 

As the newest Region of NBLSA, we know how important it is to begin this term with the end in mind; for that reason, we have adopted our term’s theme: "I am because we are. Embodying power, partnership, and perseverance."

The Southwest Region grew in every aspect over the past year. The goals for the 9th Administration are to increase the number of members in the region, provide new opportunities for pre-law students, facilitate relationships between students and SWBLSA alumni, and establish new partnerships across the region. My personal goal is to ensure the region aggressively provides new and unique ways in which students and corporate partners can connect in the aspects of employment and sociocultural engagement. It is imperative that students look to SWBLSA to assist them in navigating life in law school, and beyond that, life in the legal field. 

 

More importantly, I hope every student leaves our programming inspired and ready to tackle the challenges they will face throughout the academic year. Our administration will also prioritize legislative advocacy, access to resources (like housing and food security) around the region, and re-launching SWBLSA projects like the Southwest Spread. 

Recently, our Region has seen varying types of harmful legislation, from the immediate trigger laws that restricted women’s rights and bodily autonomy after the fall Roe v. Wade in every state in our Region to constant barriers affecting the right to vote for Black citizens to present calls for bans Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.[1] All these laws and efforts are deliberate attempts to hinder the quality and longevity of Black lives in our Region. SWBLSA will fight against these antagonists and harmful legislative measures to ensure that Black law students can exist safely and excel in the legal profession. Furthermore, our administration will continue the work of our past chair, increasing our interaction and connection with chapters at the local level while highlighting and uplifting Black law students across the Region in their pursuit of academic excellence. 

 

I consider associations like SWBLSA to be imperative to a quality education. On that note, I keep in mind this quote: “Education as the practice of freedom affirms healthy self-esteem in students as it promotes their capacity to be aware and live consciously. It teaches them to reflect and act in ways that further self-actualization, rather than conformity to the status quo.”― bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. SWBLSA has been a bridge for networking, mentorship, community, and academic support for black law students for nearly a decade. As your leader, I will work tirelessly to ensure this legacy is maintained and expanded upon. If at any point you need to contact me, please feel free to reach out at southwest@nblsa.org. 

 

 

 

 

In Power, 

 

 

Oluwademilade O. Ogunlade

9th Chair of the Southwest Region

National Black Law Students Association

 

[1] Excluding New Mexico, who did not become a member of SWBLSA until 2023. 

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