Many of you may or may not know this about me but my major in college was African American Studies. This week’s program was particularly interesting to me as we had the pleasure of having Robert Benham as our speaker. Robert was a practicing attorney and district court judge in Memphis Tennessee.  He was an attorney in Memphis when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on April 4, 1968.  He gave an incredible talk about the time period leading up to and immediately after Dr. King’s assassination.
When the presentation was over and he had answered everyone’s questions I had to ask him one question. I simply asked, “when you were sitting on the bench and an African American defendant was in your courtroom was there a difference in the way you saw them treated by people in the court  compared to a Caucasian defendant” he looked me square in the eyes and emphatically said “not in my courtroom”. I think all of us that had the privilege to be at the meeting and hear Robert’s presentation all walked away feeling, he was born to be sitting on the bench.  Just a really good decent, fair man.

Great job Julien for securing such an awesome program. 

In honor of Dr. King and our awesome presenter this week I want to challenge all of us to be instruments of peace. 

All my best, 

Michael Baker
President 2022-2023