Mid-Year Meeting 2004

June 14-18, 2004 - Portland, Oregon
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AALS Workshop on Racial Justice in a New Millennium
From Brown to Grutter: Methods to Achieve Non Discrimination and Comparable Racial Equality
  Why, Who, When   Schedule   Fees  

Why Attend?

Brown v. Board of Education is the path-breaking case dealing with racial equality, and it has heralded the modern era in the U.S. in which all people are to be treated without consideration of their skin color. For the past fifty years, the courts and society have struggled with how to make the dictates of the Brown decision a reality. During this time period, people of color have made remarkable strides in society, and the era of state-sanctioned segregation formally ended. Although these gains have faced recent attacks in the Grutter and Gratz cases, the Supreme Court provided those who believe in diversity with a welcome victory proclaiming diversity as a fundamental American value. In light of the victory in Grutter, the workshop will reassess the future of equality, ways to meet expected future challenges to these principals, and ways to bring equality to the many individuals who have been left out of these gains so far.

Faculty members struggle with ways to introduce concepts of equality in their courses. This workshop will provide pedagogic insights into these issues by exploring: (1) different notions of race by examining how racial construction adapts to different circumstances; (2) the role of race in inequality by examining the intersections of race and national origin, race and gender, and race and sexuality; (3) different notions of equality by examining disparities that exist between different groups and examining what equality really means; (4) old methods of achieving equality such as affirmative action, discrimination litigation, boycotts, and community action; (5) new methods for remedying inequality such as reparations.

There will also be two sets of concurrent sessions. The first will draw on the different methods that faculty members use to integrate race and equality in their classes in the areas of property law, contracts, criminal law, torts, tax, corporations, antitrust, environmental law, and healthcare. In addition, there will be concurrent sessions exploring new methods of remedying inequality in the areas of business, affirmative action, economic development, and labor and union law.

The workshop is designed to be inclusive, recognizing that there is no single method of achieving racial justice and equity. We welcome participation by faculty in the social sciences and the humanities who are involved in law and society, law and economics, political science, African American, Asian American, Native American, Hispanic and women’s studies, and other related disciplines. By providing for this discussion concerning how to achieve racial justice and equity for people of color, the conference offers an opportunity to reflect on our collective history, our progress to date, and our future.

Who Should Attend?
This workshop should be of interest to all teachers and scholars who are interested in ways of achieving comparable racial justice and equity.

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