Center For Race, Gender and Social Justice Past Events
A Reading on the Letter from Birmingham Jail, February 11, 2015
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY a non-fiction film commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” No longer will the Letter from Birmingham Jail be in the SHADOW of the "I Have a Dream" speech. The film stars community leaders of Columbus, Ohio and educators and leaders of The Ohio State University. The Letter from Birmingham Jail is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racial discrimination, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. After an early setback, it enjoyed widespread publication and became a key text for the American civil rights movement of the early 1960s. View the trailer: Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Coffee Corner with Prof. Rachel Barkow, February 23, 2015
Professor Barkow, the Segal Professor of Law and Policy, New York University School of Law, focuses her scholarship on applying the lessons and theory of administrative and constitutional law to the administration of criminal justice. She has written more than 20 articles, recently joined the leading criminal law casebook as a co-author, and is recognized as one of the country’s leading experts on criminal law and policy. She received the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013 and the Law School’s Podell Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007. In June 2013, the Senate confirmed her as a member of the United States Sentencing Commission. Since 2010, she has also been a member of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Policy Advisory Panel. After graduating from Northwestern University (BA ’93), Barkow attended Harvard Law School (’96), where she won the Sears Prize. She served as a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the DC Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court. Barkow was an associate at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel in Washington, DC, before joining the NYU Law faculty.
CEO Wade Henderson Lecture, March 5, 2015
As the nation continues to commemorate important anniversaries of key civil rights milestones, Wade Henderson will give a keynote speech highlighting many of the pressing civil and human rights challenges that are preventing the nation from truly becoming as good as its ideals, including immigration reform, justice system reform, education and voting rights.
Coffee Corner with Leo Achio, March 10, 2015
Rafael Leonardo Arias Achío, a social scientist, specializes in foreign policy. His academic work has focused upon the indigenous movements in Latin America and their implications for the modern nation-state and foreign policy, as well as ethnic conflict and state-building in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Achios is currently in the admission process of the Central American Master's Degree in Sociology at the University of Costa Rica, with a tentative dissertation project on Social Justice and Participatory Parity of the afro-descendant and indigenous population in Costa Rica. Since February 2014 he has worked with the social movement and organization Servicio Paz y Justicia/SERPAJ (Service of Peace and Justice) which is present in all of Latin America and was founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel. Through SERPAJ he has worked closely to the indigenous movement in Costa Rica and in Human Rights education. Acio has a bachelor's degree and licentiate in international relation from the National University of Costa Rica.
Making A Difference While Making A Buck, March 25, 2015
An information session about externships. Guest speakers were Danielle Collier, Clement Tsao, and Rob Richardson.
Career Journey: U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart, Nov. 6, 2014
The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice co-sponsored an event with the American Constitution Society to bring in U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart to speak to the U.C. Law student body. Carter Stewart was appointed to his role of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio in 2009. He spoke of his political career, as well as his personal and family life. He also informed the students about upcoming and current issues that he is supporting, and what a day-to-day life of a U.S. Attorney entails.
Movement Lawyering: with Clement Tsao and Brennan Grayson, Oct. 30, 2014
Two local “Movement Lawyers", Brennan Grayson from Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center (CIWC), and Clement Tsao from Cook and Logothetis spoke to UC Law students at a “Coffee Corner” event about how to get involved in community and social justice lawyering.
Tsao and Grayson explained how they got their starts in this area, and how they are making a difference today. They offered the students two volunteer opportunities to get involved in community and social justice campaigns through CIWC: 1. A Wage Theft Prevention Campaign and 2. An Immigrant Bill of Rights (Mayor’s Task Force). They also promoted their externship program that they are beginning next semester at CIWC.
Sowing Seeds for Change: Philanthropy and Women’s movements, Oct. 23, 2014
As we commemorated the anniversaries of landmark legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, it is tempting to attribute social change to laws, lawmakers, and the legal system. But one thing we discuss far less is role that money plays in successful advocacy.
“Sowing the Seeds for Social Change” featured two advocates for gender equality who discussed the powerful role funders can play in promoting social justice. Our speakers were Teresa Younger, the CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the largest and oldest women’s fund in the nation; and Vanessa Freytag, the Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Cincinnati.
Private Violence: An HBO Documentary Film, October 3, 2014
On October 3, 2014, The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice along with Macy’s and HBO made Cincinnati the first city to screen Private Violence at the Harriet Tubman Theatre of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to a sold out audience. Afterwards, the audience participated in a Question and Answer session with Cynthia Hill, director, Kit Gruelle, film subject and special advisor, and Un Kyong Ho, Associate Producer and UC Law Grad.
Private Violence examines the complex realities of intimate partner violence through the lens of survivors and their advocates. The documentary, based in South Carolina, sheds light on a simple but disturbing reality in American life: for too many women, the most dangerous place can be the home. Private Violence won the Candescent Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and premiered on HBO in October.
The Center also held a summit and CLE for Private Violence. This audience included attorneys, judges, lawmakers, social workers, police, and other professionals involved in the prevention or healing of intimate partner violence. The summit included: a GLA workshop, asset mapping, action step creation, and more.
Hobby Lobby Panel, September 10, 2014
This year the Center was lucky to hear from Gillian Thomas, Professor Chris Bryant, and Professor Felix Chang for our panel on Corporate Personhood, Religious Liberty, and Contraception: The Supreme Court's Decision in Hobby Lobby. Thomas is an employment discrimination attorney and author from Brooklyn, NY. She also worked with The Center’s Professor Verna Williams, at the National Women’s Law Center. The panelists spoke to a packed house about the damaging corporate, constitutional, and feminist consequences of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
Fruitvale Station Screening, March 7, 2014
The Center screened the movie Fruitvale Station. The movie, which won numerous awards at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of Oscar Grant III, a 22 year old unarmed black man who was shot by a white police officer while lying face down on a subway platform in the Bay Area. The shooting was the catalyst for protests and conversations about race in America.
The screening was followed by a discussion lead by Iris Roley, a local Cincinnati activist who played a role in designing and monitoring Cincinnati’s Collaborative Agreement between the city and the police following the shooting of two unarmed black men in Cincinnati in 2001. This discussion lead students to consider what they as advocates and individuals could do to prevent violence like this in the future in our communities.
Al Gerhardstein, Ohio’s Recognition of Same Sex Marriage: From Death to Birth Certificates, February 18, 2014
The Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice presented a talk by civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein. Mr. Gerhardstein spoke about his current work on same sex marriage recognition in the cases of Obergefell v. Wymyslo and Henry v. Wymyslo. These cases sought to have valid same sex marriage from other states recognized by Ohio as relating to death certificates and birth certificates. The Obergefell case was successful at the U.S. District Court, were the Judge Black found the state’s refusal to recognize the unions was unconstitutional and discriminatory against gay couples. The case has been appealed by the state.
In addition to discussing his current work, Mr. Gerhardstein also discussed his past work on reproductive rights and the role of new attorneys in the on-going development of civil rights laws.
Fair & Affordable Housing Panel and the Major Players in Cincinnati, February 4, 2014
The Legal Aid Society and Housing Opportunities Made Equal participated in a panel discussion about fair housing practice and policies in Cincinnati.
Coffee Corner with Sister Simone Campbell, November 8, 2013
In a follow up to her talk given at the Harriett Tubman museum at the Freedom Center, Sister Simone answered questions from students, faculty, and the community.
Sister Simone, Social Justice: What’s Faith Got to Do With It?, November 7, 2013
The Center’s annual fall event featured Sister Simone Campbell at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Sister Simone, in addition to being a religious leader and attorney, is the Executive Director of NETWORK and the lead organizer of the Nuns on a Bus campaign. The event gave students and community members an opportunity to hear Sister Simone’s present on the growing wealth disparity and wage inequality in America. Sister Simone went on to discuss the harmful consequences this trend is causing to the majority of Americans and ended the night by discussing what individuals can do to begin reversing this trend so that all Americans are able to support themselves with a living wage. Review the event page for more information.
Writings at the Intersection of Race and Sexuality
James Baldwin: Novelist, Poet, Activist, October 31, 2013
Students gathered to read selection from James Baldwin’ work at a local coffee shop in Clifton and discussed how the author’s words remain relevant today as those intersections continue to meet.
Professional Journey: US Attorney Carter Stewart Visits UC Law, September 25, 2013
Carter Stewart is the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. Mr. Stewart discussed his professional background, his journey to the United State's Attorney's office, and answered questions students may have about the office.
Race and the Law – 50 Years after the March on Washington, August 26, 2013
Professor Verna Williams moderated a discussion featuring local Judge Fannon Rucker, Professor Janet Moore, Professor Emily Houh, and United States Attorney Kenneth Parker. The panelist discussed the status of race in society as well as its impacts on the legal system. The Center partnered with Black Law Student Association.
Traveling the Road Toward Economic Justice: A Conversation with UC Law Alum, Abby Pound, April 19, 2013
Abby Pound is a graduate of UC Law and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Ms. Pound came to share her experiences and uses of her law degree. She talked about her Equal Justice Works Fellowship with ProSeniors, Inc. and her work as a Gramlich Fellow with Neighborworks America. Ms. Pound shared with students how she used her experiences in legal services and to obtain a position with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
**Note: Ms. Pound did not represent or speak on behalf of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in any official capacity.
The Future of DOMA and Prop 8, March 27, 2013
The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice co-sponsored this discussion with UC Law student groups Law Democrats, Law Republicans, and Out & Allies. The program featured an esteemed panel including UC Law Professors Chris Bryant and Verna Williams, along with Cincinnati attorney Sallee Fry, who has played a huge role in same-sex custody litigation in Ohio. The panelists discussed the procedure and history of the Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop8, the state of same-sex marriage nationally and in individual states, as well as the implications of these laws and Supreme Court decisions.
Coffee Corner with Professor James Pihakis, March 13, 2013
This discussion covered documenting and perpetuating social justice through creative writing and its relation to law. Mr. Pihakis is a doctoral candidate. His research interest include contemporary fiction and narrative theory. He is currently at work on a novel set in Birmingham, AL and Montreal, Quebec in the 1960s.
Exploring Activism: A Conversation with Dr. Holly McGee, February 27, 2013
As a part of our Coffee Corner Series, Dr. Holly McGee, UC’s A&S College, discussed her research on activism, as well as the ways she lent her own leadership to further social justice as a student and professor at different higher education institutions. Dr. McGee also discussed her role in implementing the 2013 Black History Month Conference and Lecture Series at University of Cincinnati, as well as her vision for the celebration in years to come.
Roundtable Discussion: Representation, Race, and Justice in the Twenty-First Century, February 27, 2013
On Wednesday evening, February 27, UC graduate, undergraduate, and College of Law students gathered with faculty and members of the community gathered at the UC Law for a roundtable discussion, "Representation, Race, and Justice in the Twenty-First Century." This event was hosted and co-sponsored by the UC History Department, The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, and the BLSA Chapter at UC Law. Third year law student Rebecca Lawrence moderated the four-person panel, comprised of Professor Isaac Campos, Professor Verna Williams, Judge Cheryl D. Grant, and Judge David Mallory. Panel topics of discussion included the racialization of gun control, prosecution of illegal drugs, and the Voting Rights Act case recently heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. This roundtable discussion was followed by a wine tasting event at Ludlow Wines in Clifton.
Social Justice Film Series: Brother Outsider, February 13, 2013
The UC Law Community viewed the film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin in celebration of Black History Month and continuation of the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice's Social Justice Film Series. The documentary detailed the life of Bayard Rustin, a gay civil rights activist who served as a mastermind of nonviolence movements and mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After the viewing, the discussion included the examination of intersectionality of race and sexual orientation as it affects activism and leadership. We also examined the amount of planning behind the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. This event was a collaboration opportunity with Out & Allies and the Black Law Student Association.
Social Justice Feminism Conference, October 25-27, 2012
Social justice feminism is about moving from theory to practice, bridging divides, and making a difference. Join advocates, activists, and scholars in this two and ½ -day conversation about women’s movements, building community, and advocating for social justice.
What is Social Justice Feminism? It is the type of work feminist activists on the ground say that they want to do. This desire for “social justice feminism” emerged from a three-years’ long conversation among women leaders from national groups, grassroots organizations, academia, and beyond (the New Women’s Movement Initiative) who gathered to address dissonance in the women’s movement, particularly dissatisfaction with the movement’s emphasis on women privileged on account of their race, class, or sexuality. In 2010, Kristin Kalsem and Verna L. Williams of the University of Cincinnati College of Law published an article, Social Justice Feminism, that takes initial steps at broadly defining SJF as that which is productive, constructive, and healing. Moving from practice to theory, it suggests a new way of articulating and understanding the feminist work that is being done in this current stage of feminist jurisprudence, after the path-breaking interventions of anti-essentialism and intersectionality. The article also sets forth methodological tools for “doing social justice feminism.”
Social Justice Feminism was written to advance the conversation that has already begun, both in the world of practice as evidenced by the work of the New Women’s Movement Initiative, as well as the world of feminist legal theory. The conference was intended to continue and expand the conversation. Find out more about the event, view plenary sessions, etc. here.
A Conversation with Professor Janet Halley, Harvard Law School, April 19, 2012
Professor Halley, the Royall Professor of Law, teaches family law, discrimination, and legal theory. Prior to joining Harvard Law, she taught at Stanford Law School and Hamilton College. She graduated from Princeton University, UCLA, and Yale Law School.
Professor Halley’s books include Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism, Left Legalism/Left Critique, co-edited with Wendy Brown, Don’t: A Reader’s Guide to the Military’s Anti-Gay Policy and Seeking the Woman in Late Medieval and Renaissance Literature: Essays in Feminist Contextual Criticism, co-edited with Sheila Fisher.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail: Rev. Ed Harris, April 4, 2012
"Is the Struggle for Civil Rights Over?" A Brown Bag Discussion Commemorating the Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. W. Edward Harris, Minister Emeritus, All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis, IN, and author of Miracle in Birmingham: A Civil Rights Memoir 1954-1965, will discuss Dr. King's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" and his own experiences as a White citizen of Birmingham who became deeply involved in the struggle for Black civil rights in the post-Brown era.
Should Good People Become Prosecutors? March 14, 2012
Mark Piepmeier, Chief Assistant Prosecutor for Hamilton County, and Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor and George Washington University Law professor tackled the role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system on March 14, 2012 at 12:15 p.m. in Room 114 at University of Cincinnati College of Law. Among the issues they addressed were:
- Given the problem of mass incarceration, do prosecutors legitimize a broken system?
- Or, are they helping to promote public safety in communities?
- Do prosecuting attorneys have any obligation to address the issue of mass incarceration ?
Professor Mark Godsey, Daniel P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director, Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project, was the moderator for this debate.
Book Club, featuring Professor Paul Butler, March 7, 2012
The group discussed Paul Butler's book "Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice." Chapters of the book discussed were made available on reserve in the library. This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, the Freedom Center Journal, and the Human Rights Quarterly
Coffee Corner with Professor Barbara Black, March 6, 2012
Professor Black discussed her career path and issues surrounding gender, finance, and social justice.
When Medicine Meets Law, December 2, 2011
Trent University Professor Deborah White critically examined the ethical and legal implications of processing sexual assault charges in the criminal justice system on December 2, 2011. The Center co-sponsored this event with the medical Humanities Taft Research Group, the Taft Competitive Lecture Fund, the Sociology Department, and the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Folgers or Fair Trade?, November 16, 2011
How can the coffee we drink make a difference in the world? On November 16, 2011, the Center partnered with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and the Environmental Law Society to explore that issue. There was coffee for the tasting, thanks to our neighbors, the Rohs Street Café and great discussion about global coffee production and its effect on women, sustainability, and social justice, thanks to panelists Margaret Swallow of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and Austin Coop of Rohs Street Café.
Center Anniversary featuring EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien, October 28, 2011
Michelle Alexander and THE NEW JIM CROW, October 6, 2011
Hip-Hop Culture and the Criminal Justice System, September 23, 2011
Center Research Assistants Kamiikia Alexander ‘11 and Anna Lammert ‘11 kicked off the year by moderating a panel entitled “It’s Bigger than Hip-Hop,” on September 23, 2011. Our panelists, David Singleton, Executive Director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center; UC Professors Omotayo Banjo, African Studies; and Paula Smith, School of Criminal Justice, engaged the audience on hip-hop’s depiction of issues confronting the criminal justice system.
Judge in Residence Program featuring Judge Wilhelmina Wright, March 2-3, 2011
Judge Wright was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Jesse Ventura in 2002. She won re-election in 2010. While at the College of Law Judge Wright met with students during one of the many events held in her honor including a welcoming breakfast hosted by SLEC and a lunch discussion hosted by the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. During lunch, Judge Wright shared her personal journey from growing up in Norfolk, Virginia, to her position now on the Court of Appeals. Judge Wright's earliest memories of Cincinnati were of when she was a new attorney serving as a judicial clerk to David J. Keith of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Wright's lessons on law came early in her life when Norfolk public schools were ordered to integrate. Instead of integrating, Norfolk closed its schools in massive resistance to Brown v. Board of Education. Judge Wright explained the court order for integration as the single most important document in her life as it secured her and those like her a better life through education.
Judge Wright also gave a CLE presentation titled "Lawyers as Public Servants: Facing Today's Challenges with Ingenuity Inspired by Commitment to Service" describing the need for the judiciary and legal professions to provide greater access to the courts and pro bono services in all aspects of the law in order to ensure continuing ingenuity. Judge Wright closed by posing the questions, what if the Browns were pro se? What ingenuity would have been lost? What ingenuity do we lose now because litigants do not have the benefit of those who have been specially trained in law?
Judge Wright ended her time at the College of Law by addressing the first-year class on the art of trial advocacy.
Forum featuring Wayne McKenzie of the Vera Institute, February 2, 2011
During his visit, Mr. McKenzie met with law students in the Crow's Nest where he discussed his journey from being a former Prosecutor to his current position at Vera where he uses research and advocacy to reform prosecutors' offices around the country in order to reduce racial disparities in criminal cases. Kelvin Morris '12 moderated the discussion between Mr. McKenzie and the students.
Mr. McKenzie also served on a panel of practitioners in the Cincinnati community including Angelina Jackson '04 of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Steve Tolbert, of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, and Janaya Trotter of Ritter & Randolph, LLC. The panel discussed the causes consequences and cures of racial and ethnic disproportionality in conviction and incarceration rates. Janet Moore, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, moderated the discussion. Click here to watch the panel discussion video.
Coffee Corner: The Role of the Women's Center, January 22, 2011
Barb Rinto and Kim Fulbright of the Women's Center ventured to the law school to speak with students about the role the Women's Center plays in student activities on campus and Ms. Fulbright highlighted various programs offered by the Women's Center including the peer advocate program "Reclaim", Women's Initiative Network (WIN), and the Activist Coming Together (ACT) program. Maribeth Mincey '11 moderated the discussion. For more information on the Women's Center please click here.
Inaugural Conference featuring Tina Tchen, White House Council on Women and Girls, October 22, 2010
On October 22, the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice held its inaugural Conference, featuring Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls (CWG) and Director of White House Office of Public Engagement gave the keynote speech.
During her visit to the College of Law for the launch event, Ms. Tchen met with law students. She discussed the history of the Council and highlighted key initiatives the White House has focused on to empower women and girls, including the Workplace Flexibility Program. Ms. Tchen also discussed her experiences growing up in Ohio as an Asian American woman and her unexpected road to the White House. She fielded student questions on current events, such as the increase in bullying-related suicides of LGBT youth and President Obama's commitment to end such bullying, and the Obama administration's position on the military's "don't ask-don't tell" policy. Ms. Tchen also spoke about the Administration's concern that the Administration seeks to address this problem with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
Ms. Tchen's keynote remarks at the Netherland Hilton in downtown Cincinnati highlighted the achievements made in the areas of race, gender, and social justice over the last fifty years and drew attention to the continued need for advocacy in these areas. Ms. Tchen illustrated the economic disparities between men and women, and across racial and ethnic lines in terms of wages, net worth, and business ownership. The numbers were startling. For example, even though women make up the majority of undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. students, they still are paid on average of 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. In 2009, women's median earnings were $26,030 compared to men's median earnings of $36,331. Ms. Tchen noted that disparities are more pronounced by women of color: single black and Hispanic w9omen have a median net worth of $100 and $120 respectively, the median for single white women is $41,500.
Ms. Tchen also identifies violence as a significant barrier to women's well being. For example, she noted that one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetime, which President Obama has described as "an assault on our national conscience that we can not ignore."
In addressing the barriers confronting women at the intersections of race and social class, and highlighting the fact that these ongoing inequities transcend identity politics, Ms. Tchen struck the right chord for the Center's launch. In closing, she noted quite compellingly that, despite assertions to the contrary, we are not yet living in a "post-racial, post-gender" era.