DALLAS, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Bar Association, one of the largest bar associations in the U.S., announced yesterday that, in a unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, it will change the name of its headquarters from "Belo Mansion." The new name has yet to be determined, but the renaming process has begun.
Dallas Bar Association's review of its headquarters' namesake's ties to the Confederacy began during the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd.
In a March 2021 announcement by A. H. Belo Corporation, owner of the Dallas Morning News, CEO Robert W. Decherd stated, "We are keenly aware that the relationship of our company's name to a person who figured prominently in the Confederate Army is the source of discomfort, even pain, for many of our fellow citizens. And that is intolerable to the leaders of this enterprise." Similarly, the company has sought shareholder approval to rename the organization to "Dallas News Corporation."
A.H. Belo was a prominent officer of the Confederate Army and remained known for that service over the following 37 years of his life and business career. Throughout his life, A.H. maintained connections and associations with the Old South and capitalized on his service to the Confederacy. Both in business and socially, he used his Confederate military title of "Colonel" throughout his life.
The building was built by A. H. and his wife as their home, but A. H. died less than a year later in 1901. When the Dallas Bar Association, in a visionary move, purchased the building as its headquarters from a granddaughter, Helen Belo Morrison, in 1977, it began referring to it as the "Belo Mansion". The building had been listed in the 1975 National Registry of Historic Places as the "Alfred Horatio Belo House."
Other than this building, there is no connection between A.H. Belo and the legal profession in Dallas.
The Dallas Bar Association has a storied and notable history in the City of Dallas, as well as regionally and nationally among all bar associations. Purchase of the headquarters building was broadly regarded as bold and farsighted, but also risky. The visionaries' purpose was to grow and invest in a vibrant association membership that offered free legal education, and was committed to access to justice, service to the community and support of the judicial system. The Association moved into its new headquarters in 1979 with 3,600 members and it has grown to more than 11,000 members today.
Dallas Bar Association President, Aaron Tobin, said, "The Dallas Bar Association is one of the strongest bar associations in the country. Our ability to hold events in a venue that is welcoming to every member of our diverse Association and City is vital to this strength. Our review, and ultimately our Board's decision to rename our headquarters building properly reflects who we are as an Association and doubles-down on our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion."
Another press release will be issued when the renaming process is complete and we can announce the new name of the Dallas Bar Association headquarters.
The Dallas Bar Association is viewed as a gold-standard bar association among major-metro bars in the United States. It offers connection, relevant education, understanding and proven roadmaps to enrich lawyers' lives through every stage of their careers. www.dallasbar.org
Contact: Deborah McMurray, Content Pilot LLC 972-897-4921 | [email protected] / Aaron Tobin, Dallas Bar President 214.265.3851 | [email protected] // Alicia Hernandez, Dallas Bar Executive Director 214-220-7401 | [email protected]
SOURCE Dallas Bar Association