The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is excited to announce the launch of its Inaugural Racial Justice Institute sponsored by New York Law School. The Racial Justice Institute is dedicated to bringing together leading attorneys, activists, journalists, academics, and community leaders working on the front lines of the fight for racial justice. This free conference will feature a full day of programming addressing some of the country’s most pressing civil rights issues, including the criminalization of race and poverty, ensuring a fair and accurate 2020 Census count, and why courts matter. Join us at New York Law School, 185 W Broadway, New York, NY on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 to help us kick off this exciting event.
9:30AM – 11:00AM
Civil Rights Litigation in the Current Judicial Environment
This panel will discuss the challenges in litigating civil rights in the federal courts as the Supreme Court and some other federal courts have become increasingly more conservative. The panel will discuss recent civil rights decisions of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts as well as some of the strategic issues civil rights groups are considering.
Morning Breakout Sessions
11:15AM – 12:15PM
21st Century Barriers to the Vote
The panel will explore the explicit and subtle means that states, local governments and private parties are using to create barriers to the vote and strategies to overcome them.
MeToo: How Women of Color Navigate their Workplaces
Various cities like New York have passed laws aimed at strengthening protections for victims of harassment. The panel will explore how law firms and corporations can play a role in creating safer and more inclusive workplaces for women of color both internally and beyond.
Fighting Hate in the Age of Trump
Join us for an interactive workshop to discuss strategies to fight hate in today’s America. Given the divisive rhetoric coming from our country’s leaders, and new online tools that allow white supremacists to connect and mobilize more easily, what can advocates do to counter the spread of hate? We’ll hear from individuals that have been directly targeted for hate, before learning about the legal framework for hate crimes. Presenters will share a wide range of tools advocates have leveraged to push back on hate, including litigation, community organizing, and policy advocacy with tech companies. Participants will be given an opportunity to engage with pressing questions concerning how to best respond to hate, online and offline.
Afternoon Breakout Sessions
1:45PM – 2:45PM
Disparate Impact under the Fair Housing Act after Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project
This panel will highlight the importance of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard for attempts to dismantle structural racism in housing and provide an overview of the obstacles that have arisen in some disparate impact lawsuits since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision upholding the disparate impact standard.
Black Perspectives: At the Intersection of Racial Justice and Immigration
Africans are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the United States. However, their voices have been largely absent from the mainstream immigration conversation. This panel will feature an in-depth discussion about the unique position of African immigrants in the United States immigration debate, the intersection of immigration advocacy and racial justice, and recent litigation filed on behalf of African immigrant communities.
Legal Challenges to Efforts to Promote Diversity and Educational Equity in K-12 Schools
Over the past year, there have been a number of legal challenges filed to voluntary efforts by K-12 schools to promote more diverse and integrated learning environments. These cases, and others like them, ask whether uniform admissions standards and high-stakes testing are objective measures of merit or create an unfair advantage or disadvantage to certain minority groups, or whether magnet programs or controlled choice amounts to intentional discrimination. This panel will explore the emerging threats to the constitutionality of voluntary efforts to increase racial diversity within schools.
3:00PM – 4:30PM
Central Issues to Criminal Justice and Changes for the Better
The Panel will discuss recent, important developments that promise to bring greater recognition and support for defendants’ rights and a reduction of unwarranted incarceration.