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Racial disparity refers to the imbalances and incongruities between the treatment of racial groups, including economic status, income, housing options, societal treatment, safety, and myriad other aspects of life and society. Contemporary and past discrimination in the U.S., and globally, has profoundly impacted the inequalities seen in society today. This section highlights resources covering racial disparity in our society, with a focus on questioning the foundations of racial disparity and providing access to information to develop possible solutions.
This book describes racial disparities and discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system. The tenth anniversary edition includes a new preface from the author. “Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads... and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list."
This book discusses the development and application of critical race theory (CRT) in the legal context. “Part I provides a history of CRT... Part II introduces and explores...institutional/structural racism, implicit bias, microaggressions, racial privilege, the relationship between race and class, and intersectionality. Part III builds on Part II’s...by exploring the intersection of race with a variety of other characteristics...Part IV analyzes...racial disparities in health, affirmative action, the criminal justice system, the welfare state, and education.”
This book compares the personal experiences of women of color professors with those of white women, white men, and other men of color who serve as faculty and administrators in American law schools. This book analyzes how racial and gender biases have become pervasive in hiring, colleague interaction, promotion, and the legal education taught within law schools today.
Haney-Lopez’s book is the critical race cornerstone. It discusses how race is a social construct and analyzes the intersection of race and law. “Ten years later, Haney López revisits the legal construction of race, and argues that current race law has spawned a troubling racial ideology that perpetuates inequality under a new guise: colorblind white dominance.”
"This article strives to add to the growing criticism of Strieff in three ways. First, it adds to the chorus of work exposing and criticizing the flawed legal reasoning of the majority opinion.' Next, by using Baltimore, Maryland's recent policing history, this article shows how racially targeted dragnet policing was already a fact of life pre-Striefffor many black residents of our cities, and how this discriminatory policing tactic is fortified and encouraged by Strieff Finally, this article explains why Justice Thomas's claim that his opinion will not lead to increased invidious dragnet policing because of the threat and availability of civil liability is misguided and divorced from reality."
This article discusses how the normalization of incarcerating communities based on race disrupts communities. This article analyzes how policing becomes a way of utilizing state power to correct and deter elements of society that seem out of place or outside the norm.
This article outlines "Ferguson to Geneva," an advocacy effort that framed abuses of marginalized communities in the U.S. as human rights violations and that submitted a report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in 2014.
This article discusses colorblindness as a limiting factor in realizing the promises and guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment. Focusing on the Supreme Court’s search for discriminatory intent, the article analyzes how blindness as to the color of litigants ultimately impedes the pursuit for justice.
"In this essay, I will argue that socioeconomic status (SES) diversity is an important goal for law schools to aspite to, and class-based efforts to increase law school diversity should be used in conjunction with ongoing race-conscious admissions policies."
"This Article attempts to explain the lower economic status of black Americans in comparison to the white population in light of legal, historical, sociological, political, and economic considerations related to America's legacy of slavery, segregation, and rampant discrimination against blacks."
"Part I discusses the origins of the Fourth Amendment right to be let alone. Part II notes the seminal exclusion of African Americans when contemplating and constructing Fourth Amendment guarantees...Part III asserts that over-policing innocent Americans based on their race renders the American polity defacto segregated and illegitimately creates two societies: 'American' and 'not.'...Part IV explores how race-based policing creates identity, often within the crucible of violence...This Article therefore concludes by warning that, unless the Court intervenes, race-based policing of African Americans4 thwarts the United States' efforts to combat terrorism and foster world peace."
This article discusses the application of laws based on concepts of sameness and the differences between races and communities. It tackles issues such as color blindness, over application, and other inequitable means that exacerbate inequalities based on race.
This article questions and discusses the phrase "We the People" from the U.S. Constitution. It argues "we" positions an "other" or "they," and that "[t]he 694,280 enslaved Africans accounted for in the 1790 census were the paradigmatic 'they' to the people’s 'we.' Blackness marked those who, though never intended to be included in 'we,' were useful as the 'they' against which 'we' gained its full meaning."
The Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice has developed a multi-part webinar series exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic highlights critical legal issues of criminal justice, civil rights, human rights, and economic concerns, to name only a few. In these free webinars, panelists will address the deepening crises in our collective pursuit of advancing law and justice.
This is a difficult moment for the world and the United States, and for Black communities in particular. The Joint Center is working closely with several other Black organizations to ensure that the challenges facing Black communities are considered and adequately addressed in COVID-19 policy decisions.
The web portal, hosted by The Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, provides searchable summaries of research on diversity, racial equity, and antiracist organizational change in a wide variety of settings.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The ACLU is one of the nation's oldest organization championing for civil liberties. The ACLU's national website includes information on the organization's affiliates, how to get involved, as well as information about racial justice, prisoner's rights, criminal reform, immigration rights, and LGBTQ+ rights.
The Innocence Project
The Innocence Project is an organization dedicated to helping undo wrongful convictions and mass incarceration in the United Staes. The website shares news, information on how to get involved, and other services provided by the organization.
Poor People's Campaign
The Poor People's Campaign is an American anti-poverty campaign advocating for better societal treatment of marginalized persons at the intersection of class, race, and other identities.
The Sentencing Project
The Sentencing Project is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to sentencing reform and the application of alternatives to incarceration. Through its research on criminal justice issues, the organization runs a variety of programs and events. The Sentencing Project's "Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System" manual provides a detailed discussion about racial disparity, especially in regards to the United States legal system, and how to remedy it.
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
The SPLC was founded in 1971 to combat institutional racism and hate remaining from Jim Crow. The organization has since grown to combat other forms of hate, including hate against immigrants, children, the LGBT community, the poor, and the incarcerated.
“The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”
This website examines different abuses of police power across California utilizing a mix of official and citizen-produced data. “It was built using data from California's OpenJustice database, public records requests, national databases and media reports.”
This website tracks inequality at the intersection of multiple identities, with sections on racial economic inequality, statistics on the current state of race and wealth, and solutions to resolve the disparities.
A list containing resources about basics of mass criminalization, prison and police abolition, criminalization of blackness, sexual violence and anti-carceral feminism, community accountability, restorative justice, and intersections between criminalization and climate justice, immigration, and LGBTQ justice.