Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, Ohio

A Brief History of BLAC

Late in 1973, a group of concerned black attorneys discussed the need for a viable legal organization for the purpose of improving the quality of service, economics and influence of Black attorneys in the Hamilton County area. The steering committee, composed of George W. Bunyan, Jr., Dwight Tillery, Leslie I. Gaines, and Clifford R. Fennell, convened a series of meetings to decide whether to start a new organization or to revive the defunct A. Lee Beatty Lawyers Club. These meetings culminated in the founding of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC). The first officers, elected on October 12, 1974, were:

President George W. Bunyan, Jr.
Vice-President Deborah K. Gaines
Recording Secretary Clifford R. Fennell
Corresponding Secretary Cheryl D. Grant
Treasurer Harvey E. Wilbekin
Parliamentarian John Andrew West
Historian Leslie I. Gaines
Chaplin William T. Fountroy
Public Relations Irvin D. Palm, Jr.
At-Large Members of the Executive Committee Walter S. Houston
Dwight Tillery


1. George W. Bunyan, Jr. (1974-1976)
2. Clifford R. Fennell, Jr. (1976-1978)
3. Ruth McCalla Edwards (1978-1980)
4. Caleb Brown, Jr. (1980-1981)
5. Constance A. Hill (1981-1985)
6. Inyeai Ororokuma (1985-1989)
7. Sharon J. Zealey (1989-1991)
8. Ernest F. McAdams, Jr. (1991-1995)
9. John J. Williams (1995-1999)
10. Bernice L. Walker (1999-2001)
11. Fanon A. Rucker (2001-2003)
12. Kenneth L. Parker (2003-2005)
13. Bryant L. Brewer (2005-2005)
14. Tawanda J. Edwards (2005-2009)
15. Brian C. Thomas (2009-2011)