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Latest News: Barrister Briefs

Meet Council Member Constance B. Mutong, our June Member of the Month!

Sunday, June 14, 2020  
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Council Member - Constance B. Mutong, J.D.

Where there has been no clear path beaten by those before me, blazing a trail to my chosen destiny has become common practice. I have been “the first” for many things. The first Black drum major at my high school. The first in my family to complete a bachelor’s degree. The first in my family to complete a professional degree. Now the first Black person to serve on the Council for Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. Just a few examples.

When I decided I wanted more from my legal education than a general understanding of civil litigation, I searched outside of my school’s programs and found a study abroad opportunity which permitted me to learn about immigration, forced migration, and international environmental law. Beyond the printed curriculum, I observed beautiful cultural differences as well as some surprising similarities. However, I was pained by one glaring similarity; the prevalence of minority voices being ignored by those in positions of authority. People who look like me, whose fundamental rights were trampled, and there was no recourse made available to restore what had been lost.

As one who has been taught change begins at home, I decided to focus my efforts on curing injustice in my own community. Searching for opportunities to advocate, I accepted an opportunity to volunteer with a local non-profit called Pivot. Pivot is a talent acquisition organization which has a program called Divergent. The Divergent program rehabilitates first-time non-violent offenders by giving access to resources for mental health and drug treatment, courses to learn new trades which increase employability, and partnering with businesses for job placement. Also, through this program, Pivot is working with the county officials to have the Bail Project brought to our county.

My goal is to be part of the systemic change I want to see. Through partnering with groups that are already advocating for the rights of oppressed people, I fully intend to help progress initiatives which promote equity and work to cure injustice. With the understanding that justice is slow, I am encouraged by the words of Maya Angelou, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must never be defeated.”