A two-day symposium examining the impact of slavery on the U.S. criminal justice system will bring scholars and historians from across the nation to the University of Baltimore School of Law on November 15 and 16, 2019. Find the complete schedule here.
Organized by the student-run Law Review, “400 Years: Slavery and the Criminal Justice System” marks the 400th anniversary of the first slave ships arriving on American shores, and uses the history of American enslavement as a lens through which to discuss slavery’s evolution and its effects on our criminal justice system.
Panels will explore such topics as the impact of slavery on our current legal system, criminal justice policies that adversely affect African Americans, the school-to-prison pipeline, and mass incarceration.
There will be two keynote speakers on Nov. 15. The first is noted historian Paul Finkelman, Ph.D., president of Gratz College and the author of some 50 books, including Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court (Harvard University Press, 2018). The second keynote speaker will be Roy Austin, former deputy assistant to President Obama for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and opportunity, where he led policy efforts concerning criminal justice reform, civil rights and human services.
Among the 20 scholars participating are Gloria Browne-Marshall, professor of constitutional law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Chris Hill, clinical instructor in the legislation clinic at the University of District Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law.
UB School of Law faculty — Prof. F. Michael Higginbotham, Prof. Cassandra Jones Havard, Prof. Jane Murphy, Prof. Colin Starger and Prof. Jose Anderson — will moderate the panel discussions. Selected papers from the symposium will be published in an upcoming issue of the Law Review.
The symposium takes place from 2 to 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 16. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. RSVP for Friday, Nov. 15 here. RSVP for Saturday, Nov. 16 here.
The symposium is co-presented by the UB Black Law Student Association and the UB Criminal Law Association. It is sponsored by the Baltimore law firm of Kramon & Graham. Donations are most appreciated and can be made here.