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Big Ten law schools convene virtual lecture series on race, law, equality

For Immediate Release Aug 25, 2020

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The nation’s Big Ten law schools will host a 12-week series of lectures relating to race, law, equality and other relevant issues starting Sept. 1. Spanning a wide range of topics, including abolition of the police force and mass incarceration, the series brings together – virtually – the nation’s leading scholars in these timely and important fields of the law.

“Perspectives on race, law and equality: A speaker series offered by the Big Ten law schools” is presented by the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and was organized by Austen L. Parrish, dean and James H. Rudy Professor. Maurer student Ashley Spurlock, a member of the Black Law Student Association executive board, is helping coordinate and lead the online lectures.

“We are honored that these renowned experts have agreed to participate in this new lecture series,” Parrish said. “Their insights will contribute to the ongoing dialogue on race and equality and, we hope, encourage understanding in this challenging environment.”

The lectures for the series, which all begin at 6 p.m. EDT, are as follows:

  • Sept. 1: “Up Next: Erasure (Native Americans in the 21st Century),” Kevin Washburn, University of Iowa College of Law, and Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Michigan State University College of Law.
  • Sept. 8: “Local History, Practice and Statistics: A Study on the Influence of Race on the Administration of Capital Punishment in Hamilton County, Ohio (1992-2017),” Barbara O’Brien and Catherine Grosso, Michigan State University.
  • Sept. 15: “The Customer Caste: Lawful Discrimination by Public Businesses,” Suja Thomas, University of Illinois College of Law.
  • Sept. 22: “Human Rights in a Time of Pandemic,” Fionnuála Ní Aolain, University of Minnesota School of Law.
  • Sept. 29: “Some Thoughts on Demsetz, Property, and Differential Approaches to Feeding Slaves in the British West Indies and the Antebellum Southern United States,” Eleanor Brown, Penn State Law in University Park.
  • Oct. 6: “Vestiges of U.S. Chattel Slavery in Modern-Day Criminal Law and Procedure,” Robin Walker Sterling, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.
  • Oct. 13: “Origin Stories: American Slavery and the Race to Incarcerate,” Taja-Nia Henderson, Rutgers Law School.
  • Oct. 20: “Fee Simple Failures: Race and Rural Landscapes,” Jessica Shoemaker, University of Nebraska College of Law.
  • Oct. 27: “Toward a Structural Conception of Race in Criminal Administration,” Jessica Eaglin, Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
  • Nov. 3: “Race and Inequality in Family Court,” Tonya Brito, University of Wisconsin Law School.
  • Nov. 10: A lecture from Maneka Sinha, University of Maryland School of Law.
  • Nov. 17: “An Abolitionist Horizon for Police Reform,” Amna Akbar, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Other Big Ten law school deans provided support for the series.

“We are delighted to take part in this series, and are proud to see the Big Ten’s leadership in facilitating discussion of these crucially important topics,” said Vikram David Amar, dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

Donald B. Tobin, dean and professor of law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, agreed.

“We are excited to be a part of this effort that harnesses the extraordinary expertise in the Big Ten and exposes our students to national scholars and provides them with important learning opportunities,” he said.

Reservations are required and can be made through the series website.

Media Contact

Maurer School of Law

Ken Turchi

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