Paul L. Caron
Dean


Friday, June 12, 2020

AALS Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project

I was proud to contribute to the AALS Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project:

AALS (2020)The year 2020 will be known not only for the coronavirus pandemic that swept across the globe but also for the antiracist protests that focused attention on cascades of killings of Black people by police with impunity, a racial hoax that potentially placed a Black man in mortal danger because a white dog owner did not want to follow park rules to leash her dog, and the teargassing of and violence against peaceful protestors lawfully protesting against injustice. Many of us are asking ourselves what we can do as Black law deans, women law deans, LGBTQ law deans, people of color law deans, allied law deans, and deans with varying intersectional identities to address the malady of racism and the assault on black bodies. The AALS is taking various steps, including the curation of this webpage, to respond to racism in the United States, a scourge that threatens both our democracy and the rule of law.

By creating a space for our collective voices as leaders of law schools to engage our institutions in the fight for justice and equality, we strive to focus our teaching, scholarship, service, activism, programming, and initiatives on strategies to eradicate racism.

To engage as Antiracists, we must listen and learn from each other’s experiences, lead our communities by example, audit our schools to ensure progress toward racial equality (with an understanding that race cannot be neatly segregated from socioeconomic class), influence policy, and iterate our commitment to the fight for racial equality, all to demonstrate our resolve to eradicate racism in the United States.

This antiracist work requires listening to our dean colleagues whose lived experiences with racism offer painful truths about being Black in this country and in the legal profession. This antiracist work requires learning from experts who have conducted research and produced scholarship focused on the negative impacts of racism and intersectional oppressions on Black people in America. This antiracist work requires deans to lead our law schools according to visionary statements and actions that demonstrate a commitment to delivering on an antiracist program of legal education. This antiracist work requires auditing our programs of legal education to assess our progress toward diversifying our faculties, our staff, and especially our student bodies, which in turn diversify our profession. Finally, this work requires design-thinking vigilance—a rinse and repeat if you will—to engage in an iterative process to ensure that we as leaders challenge and reshape the rule of law and institutional practices when they do not yield equity for people of color as well as remain committed to a sustained Antiracist agenda.

The Listening Phase
In the weeks after the killing of George Floyd, law school deans from around the country addressed their law school communities. Before we begin to lead as a group in working to address systemic racism, it is critical to listen to the voices of Black deans, indigenous deans, and other deans personally impacted by police violence. ...

The Learning Phase
It is important that as law school leaders we draw on the extensive research that has been done by legal scholars on the issues of police brutality, systemic racism in our criminal justice system, and police reform. These resources are intended to provide a guide to assist deans and other law faculty as we begin to collaborate on meaningful interventions to address these complex issues. ...

The Leading Phase...

The Audit Reporting Phase ...
Law deans are among the many hundreds of thousands of people and institutions asking: “what can I do and how can I act to stop the killing of Black people and dismantle institutional racism.”  We educate students and the larger society about the rule of law.  Law deans can lean into this work by conducting audits of their respective schools’ programs to answer the following questions: ...

The Iterative Phase: Confirming that our Actions are Consistent with Statements of Solidarity ...
The iterative phase requires our continuous engagement to operationalize our stated values.  Iteration is a function of design thinking, which asks us to be transparent about for whom we are designing problem-solving systems.  As well, it asks whether we are innovating new solutions that are continuously undergoing testing and retesting so that these solutions meet the needs of the person, group, community, and society.  Iteration requires long-term commitment and sustained effort to accomplish the desired outcome—Justice for All.  Thus, while we archive the Law Deans’ statements to their respective communities in reaction to the killing of George Floyd, we urge you to engage iteratively to embed Antiracist Action into your programs of legal education. ...

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2020/06/aals-law-deans-antiracist-clearinghouse-project.html

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Comments

I’d feel better about this if it was sincere and not an obvious response to current politics

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Jun 12, 2020 2:32:11 AM