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Celebrating Black History Month with ARAG Network Attorneys

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At ARAG, we’re passionate about working with individuals who come from many diverse backgrounds. This month, we’re excited to connect with two attorneys to learn more about what Black History Month means to them.

Since President Ronald Reagan’s proclamation in 1986, Black History Month has been recognized as an official US holiday in February. This month was chosen to celebrate Black History primarily because the second week of the month corresponds with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, who was influential in the emancipation of slaves, and Frederick Douglass, a former slave and prominent leader of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery. We are fortunate to have connected with two network attorneys who are ARAG network attorneys, Terrence Quinn and Sabrina A. Parker, to learn more about their career and what Black History Month means to them.

A Personal Connection for Terrence

For Terrence, an attorney from Michigan, his thoughts of Black History Month bring forth both a smile and a tear. He thinks of the burdens of the history, while also remembering the accomplishments. “To me, Black History Month isn’t just about civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thurgood Marshall, it’s about people like my parents and grandparents,” he told us.

At Terrence’s law firm, he focuses on estate planning, especially within Black communities, because he sees that this group commonly doesn’t have estate planning documents created. To help his community learn about the importance of estate planning, he hosts workshops in predominately Black churches with Baby Boomers who haven’t planned for their future.

By working as an ARAG network attorney, he is available to people in a very accessible way. He told us that “It provides opportunities to help educate people on what happens when they’re gone or incapacitated and takes away the excuses that prevent people from completing their estate planning documents.” He continued, “I love that the attorney network provides opportunities for Black-owned businesses to stay prosperous.”

On a parting note, Terrence notes, “It’s important to realize that racism isn’t done. It’s not old history. It’s something that still happens today.” But by helping to recruit other attorneys of color, he feels he is helping create a more inclusive space.

Celebrating African American Achievements

We also had the chance to connect with Sabrina Parker, an attorney from Georgia. To her, Black history is an opportunity to reflect on what’s happening now and the voices that led the way. She says “This is the time to pause and reflect to ensure I’m being the best advocate and ally I can be.” She continues “It celebrates the achievements that African Americans have accomplished in this country, despite the history of racism and oppression.”

Regarding how Black History Month affects her clients, Sabrina states, “It’s essential to use my knowledge in the law to educate my clients, particularly those who are members of the minority.” Although her clientele is very diverse in terms of race, ethnicity and income, she strongly believes that it’s important to counsel her clients in a personal way that is specific to their situation. She adds, “In the legal field where “arguing” is what attorneys do for their clients, I feel that being a patient listener is the key to knowing what a client needs.”

Sabrina notes that with legal fees increasing each year, it’s important that those who cannot afford to hire a private attorney have adequate legal representation. She noted that “By being part of the ARAG Attorney network, I am accessible to many African-Americans who make up a significant percentage of consumer protection cases and it gives me great satisfaction to advocate on their behalf and counsel them on how to avoid getting themselves back into the same financial hardships going forward..”

She ended by saying that “Black History Month means to me: freedom. It is the freedom to revisit my ancestors and their great contributions to not only America, but to the world. It is a chance for me to be reminded of how far we have come and the freedom to tell our stories.”

We’re thankful to have these two attorneys as members of the ARAG attorney network. Our members are fortunate to be able to collaborate with attorneys like Terrence and Sabrina for a variety of legal issues.



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