Thurgood Marshall Memorial Lecture
The Roots of Antiracism Run Deep in the Reconstruction Amendments and America’s Second Founding
by Keynote Address Speaker Dean Danielle M. Conway
Antiracism is at once a vision, a strategy, and a tool. It is an ethos—meaning a system of values, beliefs, and aspirations. It is expansive, encompassing anti-subordination and anti-oppression. It covers all the ground we walk in pursuit of the promised multiracial and intersectional democracy. It is bold, continuous, and iterative. It seeks new methods and approaches to being useful to a society committed to the broadest conception of equality, justice, and collective embrace of all for the benefit of all. To be sure, there are other strategies and tool that are useful to society’s progress.
In the American context, these strategies include, but are not limited to systemic equity, affirmative action policies, and anti-subordination and anti-discrimination laws. But these do not contain the expansive vision of antiracism. In the American context, it is imperative to view antiracism in the institutional, structural, and systemic sense. This means that antiracism has anchors in law, specifically, for our purposes, the U.S. Constitution’s Reconstruction Amendments, which establishes a vision and blueprint for American society; antiracism is also a tool that works with new materials and components parts to continuously rebuild and transform society based on simultaneously transforming norms, i.e., structures; and antiracism is a strategy that is used to connect processes, practices, policies, and procedures within a network of systems to promote redundancies and fail-safes to actualize the constitutional guarantees of equality, justice, and fairness, i.e., systems.
A leading voice on creating an antiracist approach to legal education.
RWU Law welcomes Danielle M. Conway, the Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson Law, as the Thurgood Marshall Memorial Lecture Keynote Address Speaker. A leading expert in procurement law, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property law, Dean Conway joined Dickinson Law after serving for four years as dean of the University of Maine School of Law and 14 years on the faculty of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law. Dean Conway’s scholarly agenda and speeches have focused on, among other areas, advocating for public education and for actualizing the rights of marginalized groups and promoting systemic equity in legal education and the profession. Under her leadership, Dickinson Law’s Antiracist Development Institute (ADI) was created to facilitate the dismantling of structures that scaffold systemic racial inequality by using a systems design approach focused on implementing antiracist practices, processes, and policies throughout organizations.
Dean Conway is the co-recipient of the inaugural Association of American Law Schools’ (AALS) Impact Award, which recognized her work in co-curating the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project, a webpage for law deans, faculty, and the public that contains resources and information related to addressing systemic racism in law and legal education. Dean Conway is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a member of the AALS Executive Committee, and a director of the AccessLex Institute.
School of Law - Law 283
Reception in Celebration of the RWU Law 30th Anniversary
following Keynote Address
School of Law - Second Floor Atrium
Thurgood Marshall Memorial Lecture Sponsored by
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