The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Assembly on June 19 approved a resolution that will create an association-wide program to further support and promote equal justice and full equality for all.

The resolution’s adoption coincides with Juneteenth, an annual celebration observed on June 19 marking the end of slavery in the U.S.

“History is being made today with the adoption of this important resolution,” said ISBA President Dennis J. Orsey. “As the premier bar association in Illinois, the ISBA and its members are uniquely situated to take a leading role in identifying and addressing equal justice issues and ensuring full equity for all.”

The resolution was crafted in the wake of the recent civil unrest that followed the senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The incident sparked national outrage and protests in response to systematic racism and the unequal and discriminatory treatment of persons of color by police.

The ISBA resolution includes the following three goals:

  • Identifying areas in which the structures of the legal system (not limited to those related to the administration of criminal justice) fail to support and promote equal justice and full equity;
  • Advancing policy and legislative solutions across substantive areas which will serve to correct imbalances and support the achievement of equal justice and full equity; and
  • Examine the structures of the profession to address areas in which those structures require reimagination, reformulation and/or reformation both to eliminate barriers to full inclusion and to create affirmative approaches to and professional responsibility for the advancement of equity, justice and inclusion and the redress of issues in our communities and legal system which have resulted in or contributed to the marginalization of members or segments of those communities whether through color, under-representation, vulnerabilities or differences.

The full resolution can be viewed online.