Center for the Study of Race and Law

Center for the Study of Race and Law

Center for the Study of Race and Law

Supreme Court building

Exploring Race Through Discussion

The Center for the Study of Race and Law coordinates and promotes the substantial array of existing Law School programs on race and law, and enhances these offerings by sponsoring additional programs, often in partnership with interested student organizations.

UVA Law honored the legacy of its first Black student, Gregory Swanson ’51, with a ceremony and the creation of the Gregory H. Swanson Award, which recognizes students with traits that Swanson embodied, including a commitment to justice within the community. 

UVA history professor John Mason and UVA Law vice dean Leslie Kendrick ’06 were among those to discuss the events surrounding the Aug. 11-12 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Throughout the year at UVA Law in various fora, community members gathered to understand the violent rallies and how to move forward, and promote allyship with the Black Law Students Association.

UCLA law professor Cheryl Harris, an expert in critical race theory, recently discussed how race and class became competing legal arguments for addressing inequality.

Civil rights pioneer Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, discussed the fight for racial and social justice in the South during the 1960s and 1970s, and challenges that remain today.

H. Timothy Lovelace, an Indiana University law professor and 2006 UVA Law graduate, recently spoke in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Other recent center-sponsored events include:

Community MLK Celebration with Justice John Charles Thomas ’75

A Constitutional History of the Long 1960s, with Professor Risa Goluboff

“Must Government Ignore Racial Inequality?” with Professor Kim Forde-Mazrui

“Race, Inequality and the Future of Multiracial Politics,” with Georgetown law professor Sheryll Cashin

“Affirmative Action Revisited: Fisher v. University of Texas,” Ward Connerly, the founder and president of the American Civil Rights Institute, and UVA law professor Kim Forde-Mazrui on the legality of affirmative action in higher education

“Felony Disenfranchisement,” a town-hall meeting sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association and the UVA Law Black Law Students Association

“Bending Toward Justice: The Struggle for Civil Rights Today,” with Mary Bauer ’90, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances

“The Future of the Voting Rights Act: A Discussion About Shelby County v. Holder and What It Means for America,” with UVA Law professor Risa Goluboff and Ridge Schuyler, former Virginia counsel for Obama for America

“Does Reparations Have a Future? Rethinking Racial Justice in a ‘Color-Blind’ Era,” a multidisciplinary symposium on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War featuring UVA Law professor Kim Forde-Mazrui

“Representing Children: Dealing With Racial Inequalities in Schools and in the Juvenile Justice System,” with Robert Schwartz, co-founder and executive director of the Juvenile Law Center

“The Final Days of Martin Luther King Jr.,” (with civil rights leader and then-UVA professor Julian Bond and Michael Cody ’61) and “What We Can Learn About the Law From the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” (with two UVA law professors) were part of a series of events in January 2012 remembering King’s legacy

“Increasing Diversity Within the Legal Profession,” a conference featuring lectures by NAACP General Counsel Kim Keenan ’87 and Virginia Supreme Court Justices S. Bernard Goodwyn ’86 and Cleo Powell ’82  

Annual Reports on Center Activities

Terry Allen