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2020-21 Symposium: Race and the Pandemic

The Washington & Lee Journal of Civil Rights & Social Justice presents

"Race and the Pandemic"

A Virtual Symposium
October 29 and 30, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected and harmed people of color. Our symposium seeks to explore these harms and continue ongoing conversations about the racial inequity that COVID-19 has exposed, exacerbated, and created. The panels will cover a wide range of issues related to the pandemic and racial inequity in health care, environmental justice, criminal justice, poverty and finance, civil liberties, and education.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

11:45 a.m. Welcome

Alexandra Klein, Kimberly Shi, Brooke Wilson

12:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m. Panel 1: Health Care and Environmental Inequity

Panelists: Arline T. Geronimus, Seema Mohapatra, Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, Ruqaiijah Yearby

Moderator: Professor Jill Fraley

1:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m. Panel 2: Educational Inequity

Panelists: Preston C. Green, III, Vinay Harpalani, Rachel F. Moran, Kimberly Jenkins Robinson

Moderator: Professor Matthew Shaw

3:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. Panel 3: Socioeconomic Inequity

Panelists: Theresa Glennon, Andrew Hammond, Miriam Jorgensen, Etienne C. Toussaint

Moderator: Professor Carliss Chatman

Friday, October 30, 2020

12:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m. Panel 4: Inequity in Protecting Civil Liberties

Panelists: Matthew Boaz, Sean Hill, Elizabeth A. Reese, Rebecca Sharpless

Moderator: Professor Alexandra Klein

1:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m. Panel 5: Inequity Within the Criminal Justice System

Panelists: Nora Demleitner, Demetria Frank, Jamelia Morgan, Maybell Romero

Moderator: Professor Brandon Hasbrouck

3:00p.m.–4:00p.m. Keynote Address

Justin Hansford

4:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks

Dean Brant Hellwig

Keynote Speaker

Justin Hansford is a Professor Law at Howard University School of Law and Executive Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center. 

Professor Hansford is a leading scholar and activist in the areas of critical race theory, human rights, and law and social movements. He is a co-author of the forthcoming Seventh Edition of Race, Racism and American Law, the celebrated legal textbook that was the first casebook published specifically for teaching race-related law courses. His interdisciplinary scholarship has appeared in academic journals at various universities, including Harvard, Georgetown, Fordham, and the University of California at Hastings. Hansford has been featured in USA Today, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Ebony, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR. He also is a member of the Stanford Medicine Commission on Justice and Equity.

In the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Hansford worked to empower the Ferguson community through community-based legal advocacy. He co-authored the Ferguson to Geneva human rights shadow report and accompanied the Ferguson protesters and Mike Brown’s family to Geneva, Switzerland, to testify at the United Nations. He has served as a policy advisor for proposed post-Ferguson reforms at the local, state, and federal level, testifying before the Ferguson Commission, the Missouri Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Our Panelists

University of Michigan, School of Public Health

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Children's Environmental Health Network

Saint Louis University School of Law

University of Connecticut, Neag School of Education

University of New Mexico School of Law

University of California, Irvine School of Law

University of Virginia, School of Law

Temple University Beasley School of Law

University of Florida Levin College of Law

UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona

Washington & Lee University School of Law

OSU Moritz College of Law

University of Chicago Law School

University of Miami School of Law

Washington & Lee University School of Law

University of Memphis School of Law

University of Connecticut School of Law

Northern Illinois University College of Law

Our Moderators

Washington & Lee University School of Law

Washington & Lee University School of Law

Washington & Lee University School of Law

Washington & Lee University School of Law

Washington & Lee University School of Law

Sponsored By:

Washington & Lee Law School Office of the Dean, Office of the Provost, and the Frances Lewis Law Center

For questions or concerns, please contact Brooke Wilson,