About the Charles Houston Bar Institute
Beginning in early 2020, the Board of the Charles Houston Bar Association worked diligently to create a non-profit corporation to better serve our community and allow us to expand the reach of our mission. Recognizing the numerous benefits that come with establishing a non-profit corporation, CHBA was resolute in our decision and persisted toward our goal despite the countless challenges we faced. As we dealt with the complications brought on by a global pandemic and worked tirelessly to fight for social justice and create a Racial Justice Task Force in the wake of George Floyd’s death, we continued to develop a plan to establish a tax-exempt non-profit corporation. Today, almost two years later, the Charles Houston Bar Association is excited and immensely proud to announce the creation of the Charles Houston Bar Institute.
The Institute is a non-profit public benefit corporation with tax exemption status under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Donations and other contributions to the Institute are tax deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. The purpose of the Institute is to (1) provide educational services and programs to improve access to justice; (2) provide legal services to under-served San Francisco Bay Area communities; (3) promote the access of African Americans to justice and the courts; (4) support social justice causes that promote the elimination of bias, systemic racism, and racial inequality; (5) increase diversity within the legal community and on the bench; and (6) engage in any other charitable activity, including supporting our pipeline to the profession. More information about the Institute, including the structure of its Board, can be found in the Bylaws for the Institute. The Internal Revenue Service’s letter granting the Institute its tax-exempt status is also available for review upon request.
The Institute is created in the same spirit of its namesake, Mr. Charles Hamilton Houston. The campaign for African American rights went forward in the 1940’s through a litigation campaign that was planned in deliberate steps by Mr. Houston. In the courts, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) fought to dismantle Jim Crow laws and segregation in housing, transportation, and education. As we know, the movement made huge strides despite continued setbacks, which culminated in the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
However, the gains made by the Civil Rights movement are continuously under attack and it is our duty to ensure that we not only protect those gains made by our predecessors but continue to push forward and break new ground. Although CHBA has been able to make a significant impact in our community over the past several decades, our reach has been limited as a 501(c)(6) organization. Today, with the creation of the Institute, we can reach further and impact our community in ways that we previously could not. With your help, we can fight racism and ensure that we continue the legacy of Charles Hamilton Houston. Your support is crucial in our fight for racial equity, and we hope you will consider contributing to the Institute. Your contribution will go toward advancing racial justice for Black people and people of color and eradicating systemic racism.