June 30, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Pacific Time
Elevating and Engaging with Black Lives on Law School Campuses
As our nation confronts racial inequality, we must forge a different and better conversation about the role, place, and function of law promoting equality and safeguarding constitutional rights. These conversations must get at the heart of the promise of liberty for each American and focus specifically on how it has been historically denied to Black Americans. The tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd bring this conversation into stark relief and undeniable contemporary relevance. As many struggle to comprehend the horrific tragedies of their deaths, law students are looking for answers and expressing their concerns. Indeed, Black law students are leading the way on campuses across the country with discussions about the need for a better aligned curriculum that takes seriously how the law engages with Black lives across the spectrum of discourses, as well as recounting the need for more professors of color at America's law schools. Join ACS, Professor Michele Goodwin, and the National Black Law Students Association to elevate the concerns of students and recent alumni to share their perspectives, stories, and experiences.
Joining us for this discussion will be:
Welcome: Zinelle October, Executive Vice President, American Constitution Society
Moderator: Professor Michele Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, University of California, Irvine
Co-Moderator: Tezira Abe, University of Michigan Law School Alumnus and BLSA Member (2020)
Professor Guy-Uriel Charles, Edward and Ellen Schwarzman Professor of Law and co-director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics; Duke Law School
Dean Danielle Holley-Walker, Professor of Law and Dean, Howard University School of Law
Professor Patricia Williams, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities, Northeastern University; MacArthur Fellowship alumnus; author of The Alchemy of Race and Rights
We will also feature remarks from:
Rachel Barnes, Chair, National Black Law Students Association
Marquisa Wince, Vice Chair, National Black Law Students Association
University of Michigan Law School Alumnus and BLSA Member (2020) (Co-Moderator)
Tezira Abe is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. While in law school, she was Secretary of the Michigan Chapter of the Black Law Students Association, President of the Sports Law Society, and served as an Executive Online Editor on the Michigan Law Review.
Chair, National Black Law Students Association
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Rachel Barnes is a 3L JD/MBA student at the University of Virginia School of Law and the Chair of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA).
Barnes previously served as President of the Virginia Law Chapter and Regional Mock Trial Director of NBLSA.
Edward and Ellen Schwarzman Professor of Law and co-director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics; Duke Law School
Guy-Uriel Charles joined the Duke Law faculty in 2009. He teaches and writes about constitutional law, election law, campaign finance, redistricting, politics, and race. In 2016, he received the Law School’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He has published over 30 articles and is the co-author of two leading casebooks and two edited volumes. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Berkeley, Georgetown, Virginia, and Columbia law schools.
He is currently working on a book, entitled Race, Political Power and American Democracy: Rethinking Voting Rights Law and Policy for a Divided America (with Luis Fuentes-Rohwer) (Cambridge University Press). He is also co-editing, with Aziza Ahmed, a handbook entitled Race, Racism, and the Law (Edward Elgar Publishing).
Charles clerked for The Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where he co-founded the Michigan Journal of Race & Law and served as the Journal’s first editor-in-chief.
Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, University of California, Irvine (Moderator)
Michele Goodwin is a nationally recognized advocate for civil liberties and civil rights, who is at the forefront of health policy discourse. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an elected fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hasting Center. Goodwin is a member of the ACLU Executive Committee and National Board. Goodwin was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and University of Virginia law schools and the Everett Fraser Professor at the University of Minnesota. Her commentaries appear in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Forbes, Salon.com, and other periodicals. Her scholarly works are published in the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Cornell Law Review, NYU Law Review, Michigan Law Review, and Georgetown Law Journal, among others. Goodwin received her B.A. and LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin, her J.D. from Boston College Law School, and her post-doctorate from Yale University.
Dean Danielle Holley-Walker
Professor of Law and Dean, Howard University School of Law
Danielle Holley-Walker is the Dean and Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law. Holley-Walker teaches Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, Legislation and Regulation, Federal Courts, and Inequality and Education. Holley-Walker’s ongoing research agenda deals with the governance of public schools, and diversity in the legal profession. She has published articles on issues of civil rights and education, including recent articles on No Child Left Behind, charter school policy, desegregation plans, and affirmative action in higher education. Prior to joining the Howard faculty, she was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina.
Holley-Walker has also won numerous awards, including the Heman Sweatt award from the National Bar Association, the GWAC Trailblazer Award, and the Lutie Lytle Conference Outstanding Scholar Award; and is active in her community.
She clerked for Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She also practiced civil litigation at Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP in Houston, Texas. Holley-Walker earned a B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Harvard University.
Executive Vice President, American Constitution Society
Zinelle October joined ACS in November 2010 and currently serves as the Executive Vice President. She oversees and strengthens the work of the lawyer and law student chapters, the ACS State Attorneys General project, and ACS’s pro bono and volunteer projects. She facilitates the connection of members with ACS’s substantive initiatives. Before joining ACS, October was a national urban fellow at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. Before her fellowship, October practiced law for six years at firms in Florida and New York. October currently serves as a board member of the Society of American Law Teachers and is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, National Bar Association, and Women’s Bar Association of Washington, D.C.
October received her J.D. from Florida State University, her M.P.A. from Baruch College, and her B.A. in history from Columbia University. While in law school, she was a member of the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law, and the Student Supreme Court.
University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities, Northeastern University School of Law; MacArthur Fellowship alumnus; author of The Alchemy of Race and Rights
Patricia Williams is one of the most provocative intellectuals in American law and a pioneer of both the law and literature and critical race theory movements in American legal theory. She is also director of Law, Technology and Ethics Initiatives in Northeastern's School of Law and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and an affiliate of the Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity. Williams has published widely in the areas of race, gender, literature and law. Williams’ current research raises core questions of individual autonomy and identity in the context of legal and ethical debates on science and technology.
Her books, including The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Harvard University Press, 1991), illustrate some of America’s most complex societal problems and challenge our ideas about socio-legal constructs of race and gender. The Alchemy of Race and Rights was named one of the 25 best books of 1991 by the Voice Literary Supplement; one of the “feminist classics of the last 20 years” that “literally changed women’s lives” by Ms. magazine; and one of the 10 best non-fiction books of the decade by Amazon.com. In 2000, Williams was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her J.D. from Harvard University.
Vice Chair, National Black Law Students Association
Marquisa Wince is a concurrent degree student completing her J.D. at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock-William H. Bowen School of Law and her Master of Public Service at the University of Arkansas-Clinton School of Public Service. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Marquisa earned her B.A. in Economics & Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she focused her research on the economic impact of black male incarceration and public school privatization. From 2016-2017, Marquisa served as an AmeriCorps member in Wisconsin with Public Allies Milwaukee, where she worked as a housing and family law advocate. Marquisa has also conducted graduate-level research around juvenile justice reform for the Republic of Kenya’s Probation and Aftercare Services Department, as well as Phoenix Youth and Family Services in Dumas, Arkansas. Marquisa currently serves as the Vice Chair of the National Black Law Students Association and the Director of Youth Programs for GLSEN Arkansas. Marquisa prides herself on her commitment to public service and her undying love for Beyoncé.