By David Brand
Members of the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Bar Association joined Judge Ushir Pandit-Durant and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, the Queens Democratic Party leader for an event at the Lawrence Yacht and Country Club in Long Island Wednesday
The SAICBA-Q was established in 2017 to unite attorneys of South Asian and Indo-Caribbean descent. Queens County contains one of the largest concentrations of people of South Asian and Indo-Caribbean descent in the U.S.
The bar association aims to foster professional development and legal excellence, increase diversity in the judiciary and legal profession and increase access to legal services and justice for all communities in Queens.
All attorneys are encouraged to join regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Queens Criminal Court Judge Ushir Pandit-Durant, the first South Asian judge in Queens, serves as SAICBA-Q president. Pandit-Durant is also the first South Asian woman elected to the bench in New York State.
At the association’s official kickoff event in January, attorney Ali Najmi, the SAICBA-Q’s vice president, said that the organization represents the vital role that the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean community plays in New York City, according to the Queens Tribune.
“People always tell me [the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean community] is an emerging community,” said Najmi, who played a key role in organizing the association. “You know what tonight establishes? We are no longer emerging. We have emerged. And we are well on our way.”