From the 2009 News Archive
Congresswoman Edwards to Speak at Feb. 21 BLSA Banquet
Congresswoman Donna Edwards
, a lawyer and long-time community activist who is the first African American woman to represent Maryland in the U.S. Congress, will deliver the keynote address at the Black Law Student Associationís 34th annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet on Feb. 21.
This yearís banquet, dedicated to the theme "Intellectual Relevance," will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Radisson Lord Baltimore Hotel.
Congresswoman Edwards represents Marylandís 4th Congressional District comprised of portions of Prince Georgeís and Montgomery Counties. She currently serves on The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where she sits on the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit and the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. She also serves on the Science and Technology Committee where she sits on the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.
Rep. Edwards has spent her career as a public interest advocate dedicated to addressing issues of public health, domestic violence, and campaign finance reform just to name a few. Prior to serving in Congress, she was the executive director of the Arca Foundation in Washington, DC. During her time at Arca, she gained national prominence in her efforts to support "living wage" campaigns, ensure the independence of the federal judiciary, and end capital punishment. She was the co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she led the effort to pass The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Donna also worked on campaign finance reform issues as an advocate for Public Citizen and the Center for a New Democracy.
The University of Maryland chapter of the BLSA
, one of the first and one of the largest in the nation, is active in recruiting and assisting African-American and other minority law students with their studies while in law school and preparing them for admission to and practice in the bar. The Maryland chapter is a vital, integral part of the local community and bar, sponsoring and/or participating in many community-oriented activities such as the BLSA-Booker T. Washington Middle School Tutorial Program, career day lectures on law as a career for young people, providing holiday baskets of food for needy members of the community and conducting clothing drives for women and children at local shelters for battered women.