Community Service Committee

  • Develop programming for educating the public about legal matters
  • Serve, Educate and Empower communities of color through dynamic programs, initiatives and/or focused assistance
  • Chaired by any Board Member at Large
  • E.g., Community Law Day, Volunteering Opportunities at local organization’s

Karume James, Co-Chair

Karume James is currently a staff attorney with The Bronx Defenders in the Criminal Defense Practice, where he has represented hundreds of low-income clients charged with misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses. Karume received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2014, where he was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellow, Associate Research Editor for the Brooklyn Law School Journal of Law & Policy, a member of the Brooklyn Law School Moot Court Honor Society, Trial Division, and a recipient of the Regina Crea Memorial Prize at graduation for the most devoted and disinterested service during law school.  Karume began his career as a grassroots organizer, first representing nearly 1,000 unionized healthcare workers at UCLA Hospital, and later as a lead community organizer in South Central Los Angeles and the South Bronx, where he led advocacy campaigns to hold police accountable, increase youth recreational programming to reduce rates of crime and violence, and build community-based resident leadership.  Karume holds a B.A. in African American Studies with a concentration in Psychology from UCLA.

Karume has been actively involved in community-based and civic leadership organizations.  He was a 2016 New Leaders Council Fellow, and is a member of the Minority Voting Rights Committee of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.  He is currently a board member with the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) and the co-chair of the MBBA’s Community Service Committee.

Katherine Charles Co-Chair

Katherine V. Charles is a licensed New York attorney. First generation Haitian-American, Ms. Charles attended The City College of New York followed by New England Law Boston. From her pre-teenage years in Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, Katherine's been an avid volunteer and leader in her hometown of Rockland County, New York. Switching majors from Biology to Social Sciences, Ms. Charles, a passionate young adult at the time, eager to impact the lives of all those she came across, joined Habitat for Humanity, formed a citywide women's nonprofit organization with her friends, Women of Excellence, Strength and Tenacity, Incorporated, served as a mentor to over forty girls in Harlem, New York, and started a nongovernmental organization, Hope for Haiti. As a law student, she continued to execute her mission of serving the community, holding the position of President of her law school's Black Law Student Association. She's been honored for her dedication to public service with the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association's Judge Reginald Lindsay Award and New England Law Boston's Dean Timothy J. Cronin Jr. Memorial Award. Currently, Katherine Charles is an Assistant District Attorney in Rockland County, New York. She also serves as a mentor and instructor to at-risk youth through the county's Youth Police Initiative and a grant writer for Rockland County’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter. She looks forward to working with MBBA and serving as a Community Service Committee Co-Chair."