CLEO, Inc.

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Statement from the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. about the Civil Unrest in the United States

CLEO Stands Against Racial Injustice

The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. was born in turbulent times much like these, in 1968. The Vietnam War. The assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Riots in major American cities. International student protests. John Carlos and Tommy Smith displaying the black power salute on the Olympic Stage in Mexico City. The election of Richard Nixon, the “law and order” president. And, it too was a leap year.

George Floyd’s senseless murder is indicative of a pattern of racial injustice that can be traced back 400 years to slavery and racial segregation. And CLEO denounces this inequality. For the last 52 years, the organization has worked to address these inequities by inspiring, motivating, and preparing students from underrepresented communities to succeed in law school and beyond. As CLEO Board Chair Elizabeth Campbell has stated: “With all that is going on, we need to ensure, now more than ever, that our future generation of attorneys is as diverse as possible.”

“The events these past months involving Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have once again shed light on the systemic racism that exists in our country. Violence is never the answer, but we wholeheartedly support peaceful protests, which we hope will spark a national conversation and invoke real change in America,” remarked CLEO CEO Cassandra Sneed Ogden.

Therefore, CLEO emphatically stands with the “full rainbow” of people throughout the country who are exercising their first amendment rights to peacefully assemble and protest. CLEO will continue its push to help realize “justice for all” by making strides in the critical areas of education, diversity, greater equality.

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For more information, contact:

Bernetta J. Hayes, Director, Prelaw Program Operations

240.582.8600, x203