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.
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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
Police Violence & Reform
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
- 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
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.