Racial Justice Committee and Resources

Racial Justice graphic that says "we're learning & listening"

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 DEI Outreach Council (DOC) for taking the lead.


  • Adrieannette Ciccone
  • Leif Dautch
  • Terrance Evans
  • Monique D. Jewett-Brewster
  • Marjaneh Maroufi
  • Ellen Miller


  • Policy Sub-Committee (to support legislative solutions)
    • Now includes the Reparations Group as a Sub-Group of the Policy Sub-Committee
  • Programming Sub-Committee
  • Publication Sub-Committee (to locate and work on publications regarding Racial Justice)
  • Resources Sub-Committee

Call for Articles

The Litigation Section is inviting contributors with articles pertaining to racial justice issues for inclusion in the Section’s California Litigation journal.  These articles will be included in a special issue of the journal dedicated to racial justice which is due to go to print later this calendar year.  Submit your article for inclusion by contacting the Litigation Section at Litigation@calawyers.org.

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; article ideas/suggestions are due 09/30/2020.  Click here to submit an article.

Upcoming Events

Selecting and Prosecuting Civil Rights 1983 Cases

Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Speaker: Civil Rights Attorney John Burris

Free event! No MCLE.

Racism in America: A Courageous Conversation on Privilege and Race

Saturday, August 22, 2020, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

2.0 Hours MCLE; 2.0 Elimination of Bias Credit

This panel will explore methods for disenfranchising the power of hate, recognizing the meaning of white privilege, especially as it related to women, and understanding our own biases and how those biases negatively impact the lives and opportunities of others.

Presented by the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, California Women Lawyers, Latina Lawyers Bar Association & Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. Co-sponsored by the CLA Racial Justice Committee.

Discrimination, Allyship, and Commonality – a Town Hall

Monday, August 24, 2020, 5 p.m.

Sponsored by the ACBA Barristers Section, CHBA, AABA, BALIF, CHBA, FBANC, EBLR, IABA, and CLA

Racial Equity Series

A Town Hall discussion of questions about how different groups interact. How do each of us experience discrimination, if we do? What do members of minorities or disadvantaged groups have in common, and where do we sometimes get in each other’s way? What does it mean to be an ally – how can we best support each other? What is intersectionality, and how does this concept play into our relationships with each other?

COVID-19 – We are making all programs through the end of 2020 virtual. We are hopeful that the COVID-19 crisis will have passed by this point. We will be monitoring the situation, and will notify you if this event will also take place in person.

Online registration closes the day before the event. If you have trouble registering, please contact the Membership Coordinator.

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

Housing Justice Town Hall

Monday, August 10, 2020, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


A free presentation (offering 1.0 Hour of Elimination of Bias CLE credit) and town hall presented by the Alameda County Bar Association as part of their Racial Equity Series.  What policies (formal and unspoken) have created our current racially segregated housing problems, and what can we do about it? What is redlining, and is it still going on? What is the legacy of redlining, and what can we do to counteract that legacy? What is the role of rent control and just cause eviction laws in gentrification and segregation?

Race, Civil Liberties, and the Legal Profession

Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 12 noon


Please join us as Michele Goodwin, award-winning author, advocate, professor, and social commentator, reflects on law as an institution and tool that historically protected and advanced racism. From the Antebellum period through Jim Crow, law’s role in advancing white supremacy and racial injustice was visible from the legalization of slavery, slave patrols, fugitive slave laws, and laws that provided for the physical torture of enslaved persons, to Black Codes enacted during Reconstruction as well as “separate but equal laws.” Professor Goodwin will discuss why recognizing and reckoning with law as an accomplice and facilitator of discrimination and racism are overdue and urgent in protecting the rule of law. Her talk will conclude with articulating why law’s role and responsibility in dismantling discrimination and racism are crucial in promoting the rule of law.

Elevating and Engaging with Black Lives on Law School Campuses (Part II)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (Pacific) / 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. (Eastern)


On 06/30/2020 American Constitution Society (ACS), Prof. Michele Goodwin, and the National Black Law Students Association presented “Elevating and Engaging with Black Lives on Law School Campuses.” During this dynamic discussion, speakers discussed the tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd; the response on law school campuses; and the need for a better aligned curriculum that takes seriously how the law engages with Black lives across the spectrum of discourses, as well as the need for more professors of color at America’s law schools.  Join ACS to elevate the concerns of students, recent alumni, professors, law school administrators, and staff, and to share their perspectives, stories, and experiences.  This is a free event.

Voting Rights and Voter Suppression

Monday, August 17, 2020, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.


A free presentation (offering 1.0 Hr of Elimination of Bias CLE credit) and town hall presented by the Alameda County Bar Association as part of their Racial Equity Series.  What are the ways in which voting legislation and regulation have been used to silence the voices of African Americans and other minority groups?  Is voting fraud really a problem?  Is a universal mail-in ballot the answer, or does it work against Black Americans?  What can be done to address voter suppression?  What can participants do in the lead up to this coming election? 

The Future of Legal Services with Rohan Pavuluri, Andrea S. Jarmon, and Andrew Arruda

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 10 a.m.


IAALS and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law will co-host a virtual panel discussion on how regulatory reform—and the innovative and diverse ecosystems such reform can create—can help address issues of racial injustice. This esteemed panel features legal industry leaders and access to justice advocates. The panelists and the ensuing discussion will focus on concrete efforts to change these regulatory structures and how members of the legal profession can lead around these efforts. Registration is free. CLE accreditation is pending.

REBEL For a Cause, Virtual 5k Charity Run

Sign up by August 31, 2020

Sign Up Here

REBEL360™ presents a virtual 5k run and offers up to 8 weeks of training leading up to your race.  Whether you’re pushing for a new personal best or looking for a reason to get moving, a virtual race gives you a very real finish line to run (or walk) toward. And if that isn’t motivation enough, 100% of profits will be donated to the Equal Justice Initiative. EJI is committed to improving criminal justice reform and racial justice for the most vulnerable people in American society.  Race packages begin at $35. 

Chokehold Virtual Book Club Discussion

Thursday, September 10, 2020, 9:00 p.m. PST


Join the American Constitution Society (ACS) for its inaugural Book Club discussion hosted by the ACS Board of Academic Advisors. They are excited to announce Paul Butler’s  Chokehold as their first read. In his book, Butler explains how our “laws and practices treat every African American man like a thug” and “powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change.”
Paul Butler will be joined by Kimberlé Crenshaw for a discussion of the book. Following their conversation, members of the ACS Board of Academic Advisors will lead breakout discussion groups.

  • 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
Intersectionality & LGBTQ+ Resources


  • 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.
Raising Anti-Racist Children
Resources/Information From Other Bar Associations and Organizations

Town Hall Recordings

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.

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