About the Committee
The Racial Justice Committee addresses issues regarding racial injustice and reform. All CLA members are welcome to join. We focus on four main areas of content: public education, member education, member engagement, and legislative/other advocacy efforts.
We thank the Criminal Law Section, the Litigation Section and the CLA’s Diversity Outreach Committee (DOC) for taking the lead.
- Adrieannette Ciccone
- Leif Dautch
- Terrance Evans
- Marjaneh Maroufi
- Ellen Miller
- Policy Sub-Committee
- Programming Sub-Committee
- Publication Sub-Committee
- Resources Sub-Committee
Statements From Sections
- International Law and Immigration Section
- Litigation Section
- Criminal Law Section
- Intellectual Property Law Section
Call for Articles
The Real Property Law Section is also working to produce an issue of the California Real Property Journal focused on diversity. This issue of the journal is due to go to print in the winter of 2021. Click here to submit an article.
Racial Equity Series: Anti-API Violence and Heightened Xenophobia and Racism
April 23, 2021 @ 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Free event co-sponsored by the CLA Racial Justice Committee
Presented by the Alameda County Bar Association. This program examines the recent wave of violence and attacks on the API community. We will hear from a member of our legal community whose family member experienced a recent attack as well as from a Professor of Asian American Studies at SF State University on the rise of anti-API violence and discrimination in connection with COVID. We will also hear from the Executive Director of the first organization in the country to represent and promote the legal and civil rights of API communities and the recent legislative efforts to combat the heightened xenophobia and racism.
Black Stories: How Implicit Bias Serves to Impede Black Advancement in Law and Enterprise
April 28, 2021 @ 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Free event co-sponsored by the CLA Racial Justice Committee
Code for Free Registration: sponsor
Presented by the Alameda County Bar Association. Black professionals have a unique perspective in terms of the day-to-day grind of the criminal justice system, academics, and corporate life. First hand, they experience the denial and constant suppression of the black perspective, black political power, black wealth generation, and everything that constitutes black existential well-being and the African diaspora. Arguably, many of the problems and obstacles, which hinder the development of African-American professionals, are rooted in the U.S. justice system and implicit bias in our places of work.
This panel of lawyers, scholars, and educators will raise awareness by simply telling you their stories. Their individual stories will demonstrate how implicit bias maintains and propagates the existing power structure and social imbalance which marginalizes black, brown, and low income communities. Suggested reading for this discussion is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and White Fragility, Robin Di’Angelo.
Roots of Racism: Part 1, Our Black Communities
May 27, 2021 @ 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Free event presented by the CLA Racial Justice Committee.
Systemic racism — sometimes called institutional or structural racism — can be defined as a form of racism woven into society through laws and institutions that treat people differently based on race, contributing to perpetual inequalities in power, wealth, education, medical care, housing, dignity, and opportunity. These inequalities endure, even after the laws have changed and often without conscious animus. In a multi-part series, we examine the historic causes and continuing effects of systemic racism from the perspective of our Black, Latinx, Asian, and Native American communities, followed by a final program discussing potential responses. It is our hope that by understanding the past, we can better evaluate the present, and more wisely build toward a future of racial justice.
Lawyers as Part of the Solution to Racial and Societal Tensions: Yes, it is Your Responsibility
Presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting
1.0 Hour Participatory MCLE Credit ,including 1.0 Hour Recognition and Elimination of Bias
This panel explores the role of attorneys in the pursuit of racial and social justice with all four Co-Leaders of CLA’s Racial Justice Committee. As officers of the court, attorneys are tasked with participating in the functioning of the judicial system as a whole, forging justice out of the law, and simultaneously pursuing the legitimate interests of all parties and the general good of society. Panelists will explore how all kinds of attorneys can promote racial and social justice within and outside of their law offices.
Stay current with racial justice legislation in California thanks to our up-to-date bill tracker
Racial Justice Resources
Click on the topics below to see the full collection of resources available.
Racial Justice Programs & Events of Other Organizations
More information coming soon!
- Commentary: To my white friends and colleagues, here’s how to be an ally to the black community
- CBS News video: How to be an “ally” to the black community
- Ally Guide: Women of Color for Progress – Our guide to being an ally
- Ally Guide: 5 initial ways you can be a better ally to people of color
- Video: “Allyship to Trans People in the Legal Profession” by the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI)
- Video: “Combatting LGBT Implicit Bias in the Legal Profession” by the ABA SOGI
- How To Be An Ally Toolkit by the ABA SOGI
- Supporting the mental health of People of Colour and Black colleagues, by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England
- When Feminism is White Supremacy in Heels
- This Country Needs a Truth and Reconciliation Process on Violence Against African Americans—Right Now by Fania Davis
- White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement
- White Fragility and The Question of Trust
- 8 Ways People of Color are Tokenized in Nonprofits
- The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility
- Confronting Racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people
- Tokenism May Cause the Following Side Effects
- Challenging White Dominant Culture: Time to Look in the Mirror
- The 1619 Project
- Mental Health Issues Facing the Black Community, from Sunshine Behavioral
- So You Want to Talk About Race
- My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
- How To Be An Antiracist
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
- One Anti-Racist Action a Day – receive a daily email with an anti-racist prompt or resource. Click here to sign up. Click here for an archive of past prompts.
- Resmaa Menakem – Racialized Trauma
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Anti-Racism Project
- Jenna Arnold’s resources (books and people to follow)
- Rachel Ricketts’ anti-racism resources
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism
- Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide by Tatiana Mac
- Showing Up For Racial Justice’s educational toolkits
- The [White] Shift on Instagram
- “Why is this happening?” — an introduction to police brutality from 100 Year Hoodie
- Zinn Education Project’s teaching materials
- Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
- Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization, by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England
Disenfranchisement of Voter Rights
- Block the Vote: Voter Suppression in 2020 from the ACLU
- “How to Help Protect Our Elections and Get Out the Vote”, by Claire L. Parins (02/09/2020)
- Know Your Rights – Voting Rights from the ACLU – Learn more about how to exercise your voting rights, resist voter intimidation efforts, and access disability-related accommodations and language assistance at the polls.
- What the District?! from the ACLU – Explore how your Congressional district has changed over time
- Vote.org – California: Election Tools, Deadlines, Dates, Rules, and Links
- “Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order to Protect Public Health by Mailing Every Registered Voter a Ballot Ahead of the November General Election” (05/08/2020)
- “Why Minority Voters Have a Lower Voter Turnout: An Analysis of Current Restrictions” from the ABA, by Sarina Vij (06/26/2020)
- The Impact of Black Women and the Black Vote | Dir. Ashley Wilson | Vote 2020 https://youtu.be/-oY9EWj59XY
- The History of Voter Suppression in the U.S. | Prof. Mary-Beth Moylan https://youtu.be/dBbQoWoWZds
- Stop Voter Suppression Promote A Fair Election | CK Hoffler Esq. | Vote 2020 https://youtu.be/o8-Ix0ARPiE
- We Can And Must Do Better, by Leo G. Spanos
- Jane Elliott does the Brown eyed/Blue eyed exercise on college students
- Harvard Project Implicit
- Bias Worksheet: Understand How Bias Affects You
- Bias Worksheet: Shield Against Bias Coming Your Way
- Bias Free Language Guide
- Confronting Prejudice: How to Protect Yourself and Help Others
- The Look: A Story About Bias in America
Intersectionality & LGBTQ+ Resources
- Video: Kimberlé Crenshaw: What is Intersectionality?
- Video: She Safe, We Safe: a webinar on state & gender violence in black communities
- HRC Mourns Bree Black, Black Trans Woman Killed in Florida (07/06/2020)
- Participating in Direct Actions: A Guide for Transgender People (National Center for Transgender Equality)
- Tips for Trans People Dealing with Cops (SRLP)
- Parivar celebrates the intersectionality of our Trans and Queer South Asian identities and builds a community of light, love, and acceptance.
- The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice.
- TGI Justice Project is a group of transgender, gender variant and intersex people – inside and outside of prisons, jails, and detention centers – creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.
- Emmanuel Acho’s “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”
- Five Netflix series you can watch to learn about racism and black oppression
- Ted Talks to help you understand racism in America
- Don’t be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks
- Truth and Reconciliation Discussion | Police Interactions
- Richard Rothstein: The Color of Law – Author Richard Rothstein, gives a lecture at Brown University about the topics in his book, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America”. The book recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation.
- Op-Ed: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge
- Commentary: https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/06/11/george-floyd-systemic-racism-activism-janna-malamud-smith
- Citizen Journalism and Political Protests, Syracuse University Blog
- I’m a Black Police Officer. Here’s How to Change the System
- The Native Californian Juneteenth: Another False Promise of Freedom
- Defining Diversity: Beyond Race and Gender
- In Law Schools, Grades Go Up, Just Like That
- Equal Justice for Whom?
- Judging Our Future: Supreme Women Move Up
- Men at Work, Fathers at Home: Uncovering the Masculine Face of Caregiver Discrimination
- Racial Equity Tools’ Book and Film Lists
- Yale University Course: African American History: From Emancipation to the Present
- Expanding Options for Federal Student Loan Repayment
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Guide
- Legal Aid for the Poor
- Pricing Toolkit for Attorneys Seeking to Serve Low- and Moderate-Income Clients
- Inclusion Guide: Cultivating Inclusion During Crisis, Including Working Remotely
- The Racial Equity Imperative: The need for business to take bold action now (February 2021), a report by Deloitte
Police Violence & Reform
- Deray McKesson Interview
- Report: Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters in Minnesota
- I’m a Black Police Officer. Here’s How to Change the System
- Campaign Zero
- “What Has Changed Since George Floyd”, New York Times (08/03/2020)
- Community Oversight of Police Union Contracts: A Toolkit for Public Engagement in the Negotiation of Police Collective Bargaining Agreements, by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (August 2020)
Raising Anti-Racist Children
- 31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance which includes books from the Conscious Kid Library and American Indians in Children’s Literature
- PBS Kids has a great resource with a focus on teaching children about Black History Month but one that can be used all year long.
- Common Sense Media compiled all Coretta Scott King Book Award winners which are given to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.
- Embrace Race is a good resource to help guide conversations on race at any age.
- Wee Chalk the Walk
- Other resources to talk with Kids: https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/resources-for-talking-about-race-racism-and-racialized-violence-with-kids/
Resources/Information From Other Bar Associations and Organizations
- 21-day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge © from the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section
- SEIU-UHW Black Lives Matter Resources
- Contra Costa County Bar
- Bar Association of San Francisco Criminal Justice Taskforce Report
- National Bar Association Police Misconduct and Justice Taskforce
- Video: “Protecting Your Right to Vote What You Need to Know and What You Can Do!” by the National Bar Association Deleted:
- Video: “Road to Reform, Equity, and Freedom Juneteenth Townhall Discussion” by the National Bar Association
- Nation Bar Association Know Your Rights video collection
- National Lawyers Guild Protest Observer Program
- ACLU Protesters’ Rights
- Cooley Black Attorney Affinity Group – Allyship + Anti-Racism Resource Kit
- Left Out and Left Behind, a book by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession
- ABA Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council Resources
- Video: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” | A Discussion on Racial Justice in America by the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities
- “A Courageous Conversation About Women and Race” – This 2-hour zoom session, hosted by WALALA, was held on 08/22/2020. To view, click the title, enter your name and email on the zoom web page, and enter the password provided below. CLA RJC was pleased to co-sponsor this live event!
- ABA Racial Equity in the Justice System Webpage
- Perspectives, a web page featuring a collection of ABA webinars, articles, books, publications, periodicals, and other resources related to equity and improvement in the American Justice System
- Reparations Roundtable, This panel brings together speakers who educate us about societal responses to gross human rights injustices around the world, the US history of efforts to face, make amends and direct redress for chattel slavery, a current-day example of a municipality or institution undertaking a reparations program, an economic perspective, and legal frameworks for reparations.
RJC Town Hall Recordings and Other Programming
June 24, 2020 | Introduction and Personal Encounters
Hear from Adante Pointer, a civil rights attorney who has also been the subject of police brutality, and other CLA leaders such as Demetria Graves, Terrance Evans, Dianne Jackson McLean and Otis Bruce, Jr. Esq. who will share their stories.
July 1, 2020 | Role of Race in Our Criminal Justice System
This Town Hall focuses on the role of race in our criminal justice system. Join prosecutors and defense attorneys from across California who will discuss the role that race plays in our criminal justice system, and their experiences as attorneys of color navigating the complicated politics of race in the profession featuring Otis Bruce, Jr., Esq. Marin County Deputy District Attorney, Brooke Jenkins, Marjeneh Maroufi and Lei-Chala I. Wilson.
July 23, 2020 | Know Your Rights
This Know Your Rights Town Hall featured insight and statistics based on arrest and incarceration rates of African Americans in comparison with the majority population; a brief history of the prison population increase of African Americans; information on what to do if one is stopped by law enforcement; and a question and answer period. Co-sponsored by the Charles Houston Bar Association featuring Terry Wiley (Alameda County DA), Kwixuan Maloof (San Francisco PD) and Nichelle Holmes (Contra Costa County DA).
July 27, 2020 | Intersectionality
In this Town Hall, moderated by Staff Attorney Michael Rhoads, our speakers share personal and professional experiences they have had through the lens of Racial Justice, Intersectionality and specifically their LGBTQ identity. Our speakers included Honorable Victoria Kolakowski, Deputy Attorney General Basil Williams, and Co-founder of Parivar, Anjali Rimi.
August 18, 2020 | Racial Bias Obstacles in Selecting and Litigating Police Cases
In this Town Hall moderated by Adrieannette Ciccone, hear from John Burris, a renowned and accomplished civil rights lawyer who has prevailed in some of the most notorious cases of police misconduct and civil rights violations in recent history.
September 17, 2020 | Building a Coalition for Racial Justice and Civil Rights During a Time of Crisis
In extraordinary times like these, it is critical that Americans of all walks of life come together to face the challenges of the day. In this panel, moderated by Terrance J. Evans and Will Mosley we will hear from Adrieannette Ciccone, Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Professor Maria Linda Ontiveros and Nichelle Holmes who will explore how the African American, Asian American, and Latinx communities can be effective allies for one another in the pursuit of racial and economic justice during a period of crisis.
October 9, 2020 | Reparations: More Than Financial
Reparations are a vehicle many groups who have been oppressed have used to provide some recompense. Reparations are a good place to start with dealing with the harm inflicted on marginalized groups, but they are more than just financial. The State of California is currently studying how Reparations for African Americans will look. In this panel we’ll hear from Dr. Nicholas L. Baham III, Adrieannette Ciccone, and Terrance Evans who will provide a historical perspective of Reparations; the far reach that Reparations would provide recompense for; and much more.
November 9, 2020 | Cooking on Camera with Adrieannette Ciccone
Please join us for an evening of cooking and conversation with Adrieannette, who goes by the name of Chefsquire while cooking. You will learn how to make food from the African Diaspora with a healthy twist and incorporating your favorites into your recipe repertoire.
December 1, 2020 | COVID-19’s Disparate Impact on Black and Brown Communities
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recent increased health measures, it is high time we discuss the intersectionality between COVID-19 and race. Specifically this Town Hall will focus on the disparate impact that COVID-19 is having on black and brown communities. Moderated by Adrieannette Ciccone, this Town Hall features a line up of heavy hitting speakers including Pascal Dabel, MD, Larissa Estes-White, PrPH, Alexander Martos, Ph.D, and Maria Dominguez, Esq.
January 28, 2021 | Judaism, Law, and Social Change
This panel will explore the role that Jewish lawyers have played in social justice efforts from the Civil Rights Movement to the labor movement. Panelists Stan Levy, Seth Brysk, and Marlene Trestman will share their own personal stories tackling inequality and antisemitism, and discuss how Jewish faith and culture inspired their careers in public service.