Racial Justice Community Conversation Series

Posted 2020-09-03 10:51am

The Racial Justice Community Conversation Series 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.

September 24, 2020
Virtual Event via Zoom 


Racial Discrimination in Voting

Universal suffrage in the United States has been a journey—one that we are still on. Although the outright prohibitions on voting for particular groups are no longer in our Constitution or statutes, as a practical matter, impediments to voting remain. That is particularly true for persons of color. This presentation will explore the legal history of those prohibitions, the efforts to remove them, and the impediments that remain.


Moderated by CSU C|M|LAW Dean Lee Fisher. Panelists include:

Charesha Barrett, Founder and President, CHARP EDucation Consulting

Learning about individuals who made a difference in voting for African-Americans and what we can learn from other groups who got the right to vote. The focus will be on moving from awareness to action and understanding the power of your vote.

Charesha Barrett is the founder and president of CHARP EDucation Consulting (CHARPED), a nationally recognized diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm.  The foundation of Barrett’s experience was developed from her domestic and international roles in academic leadership, staff development, and program planning. She is a former instructional coach, learning coordinator, and teacher. In response to America’s demographic shift and increasingly divisive political climate, Barrett decided to expand her activities to include diversity and inclusion. Through her roles as advisor, trainer and facilitator, Barrett consults with businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and educational institutions. Barrett graduated from The University of Akron with a B.S. in Education. She has an M.Ed. in Supervision, as well as an M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Development, both from Cleveland State University. 

Brian Glassman, Professor of Law, CSU C|M|LAW

The constitutional and statutory bases for voting in general, and the history of racial discrimination in voting in particular (from the 3/5 clause in Article I, section 2 to the Voting Rights Act of 1965). 

Brian Glassman taught full time for 27 years at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law before transitioning to part-time professor this year. He conceived of, organized, and moderated a conference, “Election Integrity in a Time of Political Polarization: Gerrymandering, Redistricting Commissions, and the 2020 Census Citizenship Question,” hosted by Cleveland-Marshall in October 2019. He also spoke at the Dean's virtual Town Hall on “Elections, Coronavirus, and the 2020 Census” in April 2020. Currently, he is working on voting rights issues for organizations committed to free and fair elections. Prof. Glassman received his B.A. from Connecticut College, and his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

Kayla Griffin C|M|LAW '14, Ohio Campaign State Director, All Voting in Local

Challenges (in general) to voting for African-Americans, Latinx, and others in Ohio and what methods All Voting is Local, and groups similar to yours, are taking to challenge these practices or go around them. 

Kayla Griffin previously served as the Special Project Director for the Division of Recreation for the City of Cleveland implementing youth and young adult violence prevention, intervention, and opportunity initiatives. With a background in community organizing, Griffin advocates for voter rights and election protection as the chair of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association community engagement committee and serves the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP as the Criminal Justice and Legal Redress Chair. Griffin holds a Juris Doctorate and a Masters of Public Administration from Cleveland State University and a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University.

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Legal Counsel of Fair Fight Action

The ways in which current voting practices, and COVID-19, have a disproportionate negative impact on voters of color (from Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013) to the 2020 election). 

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy is a litigator at Lawrence & Bundy, LLC with a focus on Business and Commercial Litigation, and Labor and Employment.  Formerly, she served as Chair of Stacey Abrams’ campaign for the Georgia governorship.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College, and her J.D. from Yale Law School.  Currently, Ms. Lawrence-Hardy serves as legal counsel for Fair Fight Action, which works to overhaul Georgia’s election system to eliminate barriers to disenfranchised voters.  She also worked on the Bush v. Gore presidential election dispute in 2000.

Co-sponsored by the Diversity & Inclusion Committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA)'s REAL Talk Series. REAL stands for Racial Equity And the Law, the CMBA's action plan to create positive and permanent change in the justice system. REAL Talks are open public forums via Zoom and Facebook Live where the goal is to put talk into action. Learn more at www.clemetrobar.org/racialequitynow



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