Chicago-Kent College of Law Launches Equity Talks Series with Virtual Event on Race, Law, and Policing

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A panel of experts will discuss race, law, and policing issues in a virtual event on June 30, the first event in Chicago-Kent College of Law’s new Equity Talks Series.

David A. Harris, a nationally recognized expert on police, race, and criminal justice, will discuss his recently released book, A City Divided: Race, Fear and the Law in Police Confrontations, in context of recent events. He will be joined by Jeanette Samuels, civil rights attorney and activist, and partner at Shiller Preyar Jarard & Samuels, and Karen Sheley, director of the Police Practices Project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

The virtual event is free and open to the public and will take place from 4–6 p.m. on June 30. Attendees must register on Eventbrite to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event.

Organized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Continuing Legal Education, A City Divided: Race, Fear and the Law in Police Confrontations Event, is part of the new Equity Talks Series. The Equity Talks Series will bring together law students, lawyers, and the community to discuss ways to dismantle systemic racism created by the law.

Marsha Ross-Jackson, assistant dean responsible for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Chicago-Kent, said that society can “no longer plead ignorance to the existence of systemic racism and its disproportionate effects on access to safety, housing, education, jobs, wealth, and health care for Black and brown communities in this country.”

“Evidence that systemic racism exists has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the long list of Black people murdered by the police. It is beyond time for law students, lawyers, community activists, and the public to collectively confront and begin to dismantle the systemic barriers that our laws and justice system have imposed upon communities of color,” Ross-Jackson said. “The Chicago-Kent Equity Talks Series is just one of many actions that the law school has and will continue to take to eradicate structural racism in our society.”

The Equity Talks Series follows the law school’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Forum, which provides an opportunity for community members to discuss racial and social justice issues, and action steps that will lead to greater equality. The forum was inspired by student concerns about injustice in the community following the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Harris, Samuels, and Sheley were the guest speakers at the inaugural MLK Forum in 2016.

Click here to register for the June 30 Equity Talks event.