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Panels

For bios of all panelists, please see the Panelist Bios page.  For selected articles and papers, please see this page.

Panel 1:
Intersectionality on the Body: Policing the Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women of Color

Panel 2:
Looking to the Bottom: CRT and Immigrants’ Rights

Panel 3:
Resisting Post-Racialism: Strategies for Asserting the Continuing Salience of Racial Discrimination

Panel 4:
The Dangers of Discretion in Criminal Justice

Panel 5:
The Master’s House: Navigating Race in Institutions of Power

Panel 6:
Media Matters: Flipping the Script on Race

Panel 7:
The Role of Race in Federal Indian Law


Intersectionality on the Body: Policing the Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women of Color

From slavery to eugenics, the sexual and reproductive rights of women of color have been continually violated or constrained. How do public health policies, criminal laws, and other legal mechanisms express and shape public perceptions of the sexuality of women of color? This panel will explore topics such as New York City's use of condom possession as circumstantial evidence of prostitution, recent pro-life and pro-choice campaigns targeting black women, and other policies and messages that continue to exert control over the bodies of women of color.

Panelists:

  • Cheryl Nelson Butler, Assistant Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  • Andrea Freeman, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Hawai’i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of La
  • Kate Mogulescu, New York Legal Aid Society Trafficking Victims Legal Defense and Advocacy Project
  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The University of Iowa College of Law
  • Akiba Solomon, Managing Editor, Colorlines.com

Moderator: Dayna Matthew, Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School

Looking to the Bottom: CRT and Immigrants' Rights

Critical race theory encourages us to "look to the bottom" to determine the impact of contentious issues and difficult dynamics. What does the immigration debate look like from this perspective? Do immigrant workers present a threat or an opportunity for progress for American-born low-wage workers, including racial minorities? In setting immigration policy, to what degree does potential displacement of American-born workers matter? What are points of tension, and opportunities to ally?

Panelists:

  • César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, Associate Professor, Capital University Law and Blogger, crImmigration.com
  • Kevin R. Johnson, Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies at University of California-Davis Law
  • Stephen Lee, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California-Irvine School of Law
  • Loreli Salas, Legal Director, Make the Road New York

Moderator: Sam Thypin-Bermeo, Yale Law School Class of 2015

Resisting Post-Racialism: Strategies for Asserting the Continuing Salience of Racial Discrimination

In recent years, the Supreme Court has maligned critical civil rights legislation as promoting "racial entitlements" and asserted that "the only way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." Voting rights protections and affirmative action are just two of the major anti-discrimination policies that have been on the chopping block this year. Within this context, how can race advocates continue to argue for the ongoing significance of race and measures designed to correct historic and ongoing discrimination? Where we're precluded from making these arguments inside the courtroom, how can we make them outside, in the court of public opinion?

Panelists:

  • Sumi Cho, Professor, DePaul College of Law
  • Imani Henry, MSW, MPA, Activist, Writer, Diversity Trainer
  • Darren L. Hutchinson, Stephen C. O'Connell Professor of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Athena D. Mutua, Professor, SUNY Buffalo Law School
  • Osagie K. Obasogie, Professor of Law, University of California-Hastings College of the Law

Moderator: Trinity Brown, Yale Law School Class of 2015

The Dangers of Discretion in Criminal Justice

Many members of the public support the ability of the law enforcement officers and the criminal justice system to exercise discretion. Popular narratives suggest that the purpose of such discretion is to enable police officers, juries, prosecutors and others to examine the totality of the circumstances and show mercy where warranted. Yet the exercise of discretion has substantial discriminatory impacts on marginalized communities. Because such discretion is legally permissible, it is nearly impossible for advocates for marginalized communities to prove unlawful discrimination. This panel will explore the issue of discretion in the context of stop-and-frisk, prosecutorial power, drug enforcement, and the death penalty. Panelists will explore the pitfalls and promise of discretionary and mandatory policies in these contexts.

Panelists:

  • Amna Akbar, Visiting Assistant Professor, Moritz College of Law
  • Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele, Senior Organizer, NAACP-Legal Defense Fund Criminal Justice Project
  • K. Babe Howell, Associate Professor, CUNY School of Law
  • L. Song Richardson, Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law
  • Aya Gruber, Professor of Law, University of Colorado Boulder School of Law

Moderator: Grace Kao, Yale Law School Class of 2015

The Master's House: Navigating Race in Institutions of Power

Critical race theorists are in the paradoxical and often uncomfortable position of making full-time careers out of critiquing dominant institutions - often the very institutions in which they have made their careers. What kind of change is possible from within? What sacrifices must one make to walk that path? This panel explores the tensions inherent in trying to dismantle the master's house with the master's tools. It will examine recent scholarship that focuses on people of color in majority-white educational institutions.

Panelists:

  • Thandeka Chapman, Associate Professor of Education, University of California-San Diego
  • Luke C. Harris, Associate Professor of Political Science, Vassar College and Director of Programs / Chairman of the Board of Directors, the African American Policy Forum
  • Cheryl I. Harris, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, UCLA School of Law
  • Randall L. Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Nancy Leong, Assistant Professor, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver

Moderator: Roberto Saldaña, Yale Law School Class of 2014

Media Matters: Flipping the Script on Race

Popular dialogues about criminal justice issues, politics, housing, and other racially charged topics help to shape the public's ideas about the role of race in the law. What are practical strategies for intervening in media narratives to change the conversation around race and the law? In this session, four media experts will share their experiences using the media as a strategic tool for racial justice and impart concrete strategies for flipping the script on race.

Panelists:

  • Ian Haney-López, John H. Boalt Professor of Law, Berkeley Law and Author, Dog Whistle Politics
  • Alison Roh Park, Communications Strategist, Writer and Lecturer, Hunter College, City University of New York
  • Akiba Solomon, Managing Editor, Colorlines.com
  • Michèle Stephenson, Producer and Co-Director, American Promise (winner of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award)

Moderator: Adrien A. Weibgen, Yale Law School Class of 2014

Equality vs. Exceptionalism: The Role of Race in Federal Indian Law

Race has played a profound and complicated role in the United States’ legal and political treatment of Indians. On the one hand, the federal government has used American racial ideology and taxonomy to strip tribes of autonomy, resources, and humanity. On the other hand, the courts and Congress have also problematically conflated race and political status as a way of understanding and regulating tribes as political entities. This panel will explore how this unique history interacts with recent equal protection jurisprudence and has impacted the political position of tribes and Native people. How will the increasing illegitimacy of governmental racial classifications affect laws designed to preserve and advance tribal self-government and cultural survival? How can the tension between formal equality and the distinct status of Indian tribes be reconciled to secure Native rights and justice?

Panelists:

  • Kristen Carpenter, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director, American Indian Law Program, University of Colorado Law School
  • Matthew Fletcher, Professor of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Wenona Singel, Associate Professor of Law & Associate Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Angela R. Riley, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law; Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center; and Co-Director, Native Nations Law and Policy Center
  • Gerald Torres, Bryant Smith Chair in Law, University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Moderator: Sparky Abraham, Yale Law School Class of 2014