The National Black Law Students Association elected Derick Dailey ’17 as its national chair-elect earlier this month at its annual convention in Baltimore, making him the first Fordham Law student to hold the prominent position.
Dailey’s national election on March 12 came one month after the Northeast chapter schools of BLSA, or NEBLSA, elected him regional chair-elect over its eight states. With the blessing and encouragement of his regional presidents and Fordham Law Dean Matthew Diller, Dailey organized a campaign team for the national seat.
As national chair for 2016–17, Dailey will act as executive director of NBLSA, a 48-year-old student-run, nonprofit organization boasting 200 local chapters and tens of thousands of students, alumni, professors, administrators, and corporate sponsors. He will also act as chairman of NBLSA’s board of directors.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to reshape the brand of NBLSA nationally and globally into one focused squarely on racial justice,” Dailey said, noting he seeks to move the organization’s legacy forward rather than keep it intact. “It’s a job I’m honored to have and a really humbling experience.”
Dailey hopes to leverage NBLSA’s collective intellect and resources to significantly impact distressed communities of color by working to confront and remedy community challenges and engage stakeholders in conversations about economic and gender equality, as well as racial and criminal justice.,
His mission also includes strengthening relationships with partners such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League, raising more capital so NBLSA can increase its activity, and being accessible and accountable to his advisory board, whether through in-person communication at retreats and conventions or via web-based methods.
Dailey sees Fordham Law’s new Center on Race, Law & Justice, his election as national chair of NBLSA, and the ongoing national discussion about issues of racial justice as the University’s “kairos” moment—an ancient Greek word describing a great convergence of time, space, people, and ideas. He praised Diller, whom he met with prior to seeking the national chair, as a “champion” on racial justice and the law.
“Fordham Law School is positioned well to be a national leader when it comes to racial justice, whether through legal scholarship, student leadership, or leadership and training for faculty and staff,” Dailey said.
Dailey is just the second national chair to hail from NEBLSA over the past 15 years. Kendra Brown of Vermont Law School served as national chair in 2012–13.