Praised for resilience, likened to bridge builders, presented with a clarion call for service, students of color at the University at Buffalo School of Law came together to celebrate their accomplishments and look to the future Thursday night.
The Students of Color Dinner, now in its 31st year, is an annual gathering of members of the Black Law Students Association, the Latin American Law Students Association and the Native American Law Students Association at UB held to honor graduates and thank and recognize supporters who “have helped pave the way for minority legal professionals and University of Buffalo School of Law Students.”
“Welcome back to inspiration,” UB Law Dean Aviva Abramovsky told the group, before participating in a candlelight ceremony of transition, the centerpiece of which is the reading of “The Bridge Builder,” a poem from the early 1900s by Will Allen Dromgoole.
The poem tells the story of an old man who crosses over a stream and then pauses to build a bridge – an act, which he is told, is “wasting strength.”
Responds the old man:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”
The Students of Color Dinner recognized Harris Beach and its Council on Inclusion and Diversity with a Distinguished Firm Award, noting our efforts to embrace the perspectives of diverse people and support underrepresented students of color.
The Students of Color Committee wrote in the program for the evening that they applaud our efforts. We thank them, and applaud them right back. Congratulations to all the graduating law students across New York, and here’s to a bright future.
Partner Todd Bullard, co-chair of the Council on Inclusion and Diversity and a UB Law alum, accepted the award for Harris Beach. As a testament to the enduring work of UB Law, Todd found himself on stage with Hugh Russ, a partner at Hodgson Russ, which was also recognized as a Distinguished Firm. Todd noted for the audience that he and Hugh attend UB Law together and participated in the same trial technique class.