As Charles Hamilton Houston stated:
A lawyer’s either a social engineer or … a parasite on society … A social engineer [is] a highly skilled, perceptive, sensitive lawyer who [understands] the Constitution of the United States and [knows] how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering conditions of the underprivileged citizens.
Howard University School of Law is dedicated to producing “social engineers” and has proven track record of success. The words of Charles Hamilton Houston are alive everyday in the work taking place at The Mecca's law school.
This guide was compiled for Howard University students and faculty as well as interested members of the public as an introduction to resources on the topics of (1) racial disparity, (2) racial diversity, (3) implicit bias and microaggression, (4) cultural sensitivity, and (5) protests. It was designed as an annotated bibliography focused on selected resources with varying depth of treatment in books, articles (both scholarly and for broad readership), websites, blogs, short videos, and organizations. Resources range from general introductory information to those more focused on law and legal professionals. The annotations in this document are summaries of our research into these titles or are direct quotes from publisher websites.
The need for this guide was determined by HUSL Library in response to the Spring 2020 international protests for justice and equality, and ongoing conversations of diversity, implicit bias, and inclusion in the legal profession and legal education. The massive public outcry over police brutality and systemic racism united people from all walks of life with one voice to uphold the moral compass and value of the lives of countless black people, such as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, just to name a few, who died at the hands of police and white supremacists. This guide will expand to cover other topics of diversity and inclusion in the future.
Over the summer of 2020, Victoria Capatosto and Eileen Santos in their capacity as SEAALL members, with extensive assistance from John Miller and Ian Reinl, HUSL Library's remote public services LIS interns, collaborated with Richelle Reid, SEAALL’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair, 2021 and Assistant Law Library Director at NC Central University School of Law Library, on an outline of resources covering 5 topic areas ((1) racial disparity, (2) racial diversity, (3) implicit bias and microaggression, (4) cultural sensitivity, and (5) protests). Permission was granted for HUSL Library to build upon the SEAALL outline and transform the work into a research guide for independent development by HUSL Library.
HUSL Library's edition of the guide is accessible through our website, where you’re currently viewing it.
SEAALL's original outline is available here.
Victoria Capatosto oversaw the development of HUSL Library's edition of this guide while working at HUSL between May 2016 and January 2022 with assistance from LIS graduate student interns working at HUSL Library.
Interested in learning more about the fight for civil rights and social justice in the United States? Visit our website "A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States" for an overview and stay current here.