Dear American Mock Trial Association,
The Brandeis University Mock Trial Association is sickened by the systemic racism against Black communities and communities of Color that plagues our country and its justice system that has been highlighted by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and thousands of other unnamed individuals. As an organization, we are disappointed in AMTA’s silence during this time.
We encourage AMTA to use its broad platform and position within the legal community to denounce these injustices and speak out in support of the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole. We urge this organization to use its power and connections with attorneys to donate not only their money but also their time in doing work to defend Black activists and their allies who are arrested while protesting police brutality and systemic racism.
We ask AMTA to keep in mind the influence it has upon students as a form of introduction into the legal community and the justice system. Lawyers are one part of a broken justice system in the US, but they can also be a force for good. With your platform, you have the opportunity to help shape thousands of future attorneys so we urge you to think about ways you can educate your members, highlight the systemic racism in the legal system, and encourage members to speak out and use their positions as a way to promote positive change in the system. We hope that AMTA does not take the role it plays in the development of future attorneys and citizens lightly.
We recognize that AMTA has always worked hard to write interesting cases and host and run tournaments smoothly. We understand that the judges present at each tournament are largely determined by the schools hosting and the availability of judges at the time. However, we continue to see an overwhelming majority of white male judges and fewer women and Black Indigenous People of Color as judges. Going forward, we encourage AMTA and all other mock trial organizations to ensure that Black Indigenous People of Color are represented in judging pools, and in addition to this, to employ mandatory and comprehensive bias and anti-discrimination training for judges.
We hope that AMTA does not continue to stay silent. We hope AMTA will use its platform and voice to not only support the Black Lives Matter movement but also be actively anti-racist in committing to promote positive change in the legal system.
The Brandeis University Mock Trial Association Executive Board