Racial Justice Community Conversations Series

The Racial Justice Conversations Work Group is part of CSU Cleveland-Marshall’s larger Call to Action to address racial and social justice and antiracism. One of four Racial Justice Workgroups at CSU C|M|LAW, the Community Conversations Racial Justice Workgroup will develop programming throughout the year to provide regular learning and conversation opportunities that educate, challenge and transform the broader community. Follow @cmlawschool and check this page often for added programs and events.

Racial Justice Community Conversations Series

upcoming conversations

HOW POLICING REINFORCES RACIAL SEGREGATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Co-Sponsored by Criminal Justice Forum & Racial Justice Community Conversation Series

MARCH 10, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 P.M.
APPROVED FOR 1 HOUR CLE

Register Here!

Technocratic debates about police reform typically take a narrow view of the multiple, complex roles that policing plays in American society, focusing primarily on police involvement in systems of crime control. Yet, we know that policing plays many roles in society other than fighting crime. This project focuses on how routine practices of policing maintain racial residential segregation, one of the central mechanisms of American racial inequality. It illustrates six ways that American policing perpetuates residential segregation, drawing from qualitative research in several American cities. Finally, the project engages a fundamental question that emerges in the context of racial justice movements today: Is an anti-segregation approach to policing possible in a society that is structured through race?

PROF. MONICA BELL
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LAW, YALE LAW SCHOOL

Monica Bell is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School and an Associate Professor of Sociology at Yale University. Her areas of expertise include criminal justice, welfare law, housing, race and the law, qualitative research methods, and law and sociology.

 

FACING AND CONFRONTING OUR HISTORY FORUM SERIES

MARCH 22, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 P.M.

Registration details will be posted shortly.

The CSU Cleveland-Marshall Law School Name Committee will host the first of its series on facing and confronting our history. In the summer of 2020, we learned about a petition urging CSU Cleveland-Marshall and UIC John Marshall Law School to remove any reference to Chief Justice John Marshall in our law schools’ names because of Chief Justice Marshall’s association with slavery. Dean Fisher immediately formed a Law School Name Committee consisting of faculty, staff, students, and alumni to seek wide input, develop findings and options, and make a recommendation to our faculty for consideration about whether “Marshall,” named after Chief Justice John Marshall, should be removed from our Law School’s name, and if so, a recommendation about the new name of our Law School. Ultimately, a name change will be a university decision. 

The Committee has decided to host some forums this semester to provide context to the issue of whether “Marshall” should be removed from our law school name. The March 22 forum is focused on how institutions such as ours should approach important decisions like the one before us and how we should face, understand, confront, and reckon with our nation's history and its legacy.

These forums are not intended to directly deal with the question of whether we should change our name or to advocate for any particular viewpoint. Rather, the purpose is to better understand how historians view institutional name changes and how other institutions have approached similar issues. The forums will intentionally present differing views and opinions on this subject.

FORUM PANELISTS: 

Professor Garrett Epps

Professor Garrett Epps is Legal Affairs Editor of The Washington Monthly. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He has also taught Constitutional Law at American University, Boston College, Duke, and the University of Oregon. His books include Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Civil Rights in Post-Civil War America and American Epic: Reading the US Constitution.

Professor Jacqueline Jones 

Professor Jacqueline Jones is Ellen C. Temple Professor of Women’s History and Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches courses in American history. Before coming to UT, she taught at Wellesley College, Brown University, and Brandeis University. She is president of the American Historical Association. She was a MacArthur Fellow from 1999 to 2004. Jones is the author of several books, including A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America.

Professor Ashley N. Woodson

Professor Ashley N. Woodson is the Assistant Director of the National Center of Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Prior to this appointment, she served in the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education at the University of Missouri. She is co-editor of the volume, The Future Is Black: Afropessimism, Fugitivity and Radical Hope in Education with Carl A. Grant and Michael Dumas.

 

POLICING AND "BLUELINING"

APRIL 26, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 P.M.

Register Here!

The speaker will explore the increasingly popular claim that racialized brutality is not a malfunction of policing, but its function. Or, as Paul Butler counsels, “Don’t get it twisted—the criminal justice system ain’t broke. It’s working just the way it’s supposed to.” This claim contradicts the conventional narrative, which remains largely accepted, that the police exist to vindicate the community’s interest in solving, reducing, and preventing crime. A perusal of the history of organized policing in the United States, however, reveals that it was never mainly about interdicting crime. From its inception in the late 1800s, organized policing served the social, political, and economic priorities of empowered groups, from supporting Southern agrarian capitalist interests by imposing de facto slavery on emancipated Blacks to bolstering Northern industrialization by oppressing immigrant laborers. Thereafter, police forces grew in response, not to spikes in garden-variety crimes, but to political campaigns and cultural anxieties. And today, it remains contested whether current policing practices—especially street policing—function to alleviate, rather than exacerbate, crime problems.

While policing’s crime-reduction success is questionable, one obvious tremendous success has been its control of race, space, and place. Police draw blue lines around Black neighborhoods—just as banks drew their red lines—designating them as high-risk, pathological spaces. Police use aggressive stop and frisks, intense surveillance, and military-style home raids to keep the people in their spatial and social place. Brutality is the business of policing, reinforced in recruitment, training, and practice. Prof. Gruber will conclude that because racialized brutality is integral to policing, reformers should not primarily focus on incarcerating specific bad cops who draw headlines. The “bad apple” narrative casts racist violence as individual and deviant rather than institutional and structural and undermines the current promising, if glacial, movement toward dismantling policing as we know it.

PROF. AYA GRUBER
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO LAW SCHOOL

 

Past Conversations

LOCAL GOVERNMENT & RACIAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

DECEMBER 2, 2020

HEALTH DISPARITIES & RACE

NOVEMBER 12, 2020

View Event Video

EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION & CORPORATE INITIATIVES IN RACIAL EQUITY

OCTOBER 29, 2020
View Event Video

THREATS TO ELECTION 2020: TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY, VOTER SUPPRESSION & COVID-19

OCTOBER 27, 2020
View Event Video

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN VOTING

SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
View event video

 


 

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