Critical Race Studies at 10: Building our Home
CRS 2013 Symposium & Alumni Celebration Dinner 
 
FINAL CRS LOGO.jpg
 
Symposium:                                              Thursday, March 7, 2013 (evening, 6 - 8 pm)
                                                                             Friday, March 8, 2013 (9 am - 5 pm)
 
Alumni Celebration Dinner:         Friday, March 8, 2013 (6 pm - 9 pm)
 
 
The inauguration of UCLA Law’s Critical Race Studies Program and the culmination of its first graduates a decade ago provide an important opportunity for critical reflection and celebration.  In building the Critical Race Studies (CRS) program over the past ten years, the work of our students, alumnae, faculty and directors has had a profound impact on racial justice advocacy, policy, and legal scholarship.   Our 2013 CRS Symposium celebrates and honors this work and this legacy.  Doing so now is especially important given the loss last year of one of the most important figures in Critical Race Theory—Professor Derrick Bell.  His racial justice activism, advocacy, and scholarship helped to build the home we call CRS.  Thus, as we call home all of those who have built this house through the work done here and since, we will be marking the groundwork he laid for all that we do.  This year’s symposium also includes our inaugural Alumni Celebration Dinner.  Proceeds from the dinner will be used to establish the Derrick Bell CRS Scholarship for incoming students dedicated to advancing the goals of our program- to think, to teach and to transform the quest for racial justice.
 
UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.  This activity qualifies for 4.5 hours of general MCLE credit. 
 

Day 1, Thursday, March 7

 
6: 00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.                    
Welcome
CRS Faculty Co-Directors Cheryl I. Harris and Jyoti Nanda
CRS Program Director Jasleen Kohli
 
6:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Opening Roundtable Plenary
Confronting Authority: The Oppositional Voice of Derrick Bell at UCLA Law on Theory and Practice
 
Moderator: Devon Carbado, Professor of Law, UCLA Law School
 
Kimberlé Crenshaw, Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA Law School
Laura E. Gómez, Professor of Law, UCLA Law School
Jerry Kang, Korea Times – Hankook Ilbo Chair in Korean American Studies; Professor of Law, UCLA Law School
Gerald López, Professor of Law, UCLA Law School
 
Few, if any, would quarrel with the claim that Derrick Bell is a—and perhaps the—forefather of Critical Race Theory.  More than that, Professor Bell’s work-- his insistence on employing scholarship to confront authority—helped to chart the trajectory of a movement that sought to join theory and practice.  Nowhere is the impact of Bell’s work more salient than at UCLA School of Law, the only law school with a Critical Race Studies Specialization, and one of a handful of law schools with several Critical Race Theorists on its faculty.  This panel will highlight how the oppositional voice in Derrick Bell’s scholarship on law and racial justice intersects with and helped to shape the development of the diverse scholarly agendas of the Critical Race Studies Faculty at UCLA School of Law.   In so doing, the panel will illuminate not only the breadth and depth of Critical Race Theory scholarship at UCLA Law but also the breadth and depth of Derrick Bell’s intellectual influence on the practice of civil rights law.
 

Day 2, Friday, March 8

 
8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast
 
9:00 – 9:10 a.m.
Welcome: Dean Rachel Moran
 
9:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Interest Convergence:  Mapping Critical Race Studies
 
Moderator: Cheryl I. Harris, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, UCLA Law School
 
Sharon Hing, UCLA Law Student ‘13
Carmina Ocampo, Staff Attorney, Impact Litigation Unit at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center; UCLA Law ‘08
Emily M.S. Houh, Associate Dean of Faculty and Gustavus Henry Wald Professor of Law and Contracts, University of Cincinnati College of Law; Co-Director of Center for the Study of Race, Gender and Social Justice
Saúl Sarabia, Founder and Principal, Solidarity~Solidaridad Consulting; Program Director, Critical Race Studies 2005-2011; UCLA Law ‘96
 
Derrick Bell’s classic essay, “Brown and the Interest Convergence Dilemma” introduced the powerful
 insight that racial justice can be attained only when the interests of racially oppressed groups converge with dominant white interests.  Analyzing the creation of the Critical Race Studies program at UCLA School of Law through the lens of interest convergence, we will examine the particular moment out of which the program emerged, and the broader social, political and intellectual currents and conflicts both inside and outside the law school that were and are implicated.  Among the questions we will consider is why is the Critical Race Studies Program unique in legal education?  How have the dynamics of interest convergence affected the various stakeholders and constituencies of the program and their work?  How has legal practice on behalf of racially subordinated communities been impacted? 
 
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Refreshment Break                                                                               
 
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
 
These interactive breakout workshops will be opportunities to dive more deeply into specific substance areas, providing examples of how CRT directly intervenes in contemporary, pressing issues of racial justice advocacy.  The purpose of these sessions is threefold: first, to learn from alumnae and practitioners on the ground about their  work; second, to highlight successful interventions that advocates have employed in their work; to examine the tensions between prevailing norms, rules and doctrines and critical law reform; and finally, to articulate and reflect on how CRT plays a role in day-to-day advocacy.  We will collectively discuss the effectiveness of a CRT framework in five distinct areas :  Poverty,  Incarceration, Immigration, Juvenile justice/Youth Issues and  Global/Arab Spring. The workshops will run concurrently. Each workshop will be led by  several discussants (alums/experts) and a facilitator (or moderator).  Attendees will be invited to participate in conversation that we hope will educate and inspire us all.  For more infromation on CRS in Realtime, please click here.  
 
12:00 – 1:45 p.m.                                                                
Luncheon Keynote
Maisie Chin, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Community Asset Development Re-defining Education (CADRE)
 
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Race and Local Government Law:  Constraints and Possibilities
Moderator:  David Dante Troutt, Professor of Law and Justice John J. Francis Scholar, Rutgers School of Law, Newark.
 
Nicholas Espíritu, National Staff Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund; UCLA Law ‘04
Kathay Feng, Executive Director, California Common Cause; UCLA Law ‘96
Jasleen Kohli, Program Director, Critical Race Studies Program
Dr. Beatriz Maria Solís, Director, Healthy Communities Southern Region
 
Over the past two decades, there has been a significant shift in the racial demographics of the United States. Many metropolitan areas, like Los Angeles, are now Minority/Majority domains.   This demographic change has not meant the elimination of racial hierarchy.   This is evident at multiple levels, from the global to the local.  Indeed, local government law, which cuts across every area of law is deeply implicated in the persistence of racial inequality.  At the same time, some of the most progressive reform efforts are taking place at the level of local government, particularly when compared to what is and is not happening at the state and federal levels.  This panel will explore the various ways in which local government law can both create and disrupt patterns of racial inequality. From electoral politics, to labor organizing, to immigration reform efforts, to advocacy for healthier communities, this panel will suggest that local government law is a significant arena for pursuing racial justice advocacy.  The panelists will highlight specific litigation efforts, organizing campaigns, and enforcement strategies to make this point.   We hope to provide specific tools to practitioners about how to address issues in their day-to-day practice.
 
3: 30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
Refreshment Break
 
3:45 – 5:15 p.m.
Closing Panel: And We Are Not Saved: The Future of Race and Racial Justice Advocacy
 
Moderator:   Angela Riley, Professor of Law, UCLA Law School; Director, American Indian Studies Center, UCLA
 
Asli Ü. Bâli, Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA Law School  
Victor Viramontes, National Senior Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Executive Committee Member, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice
Priscilla Ocen, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Latonya Slack, Principal and Founder, Slack Global Consulting; UCLA School of Law ‘94
 
Bell’s groundbreaking book, And We Are Not Saved, written in 1987 posed this question: “How are we to assess the unstable status of a struggle that all but the most perversely pessimistic predicted would end in triumph many years ago?”  That poignant and pointed query challenged the presumptions that racial progress was inevitable and that the country’s sordid racial practices would soon be left behind.  Instead Bell insisted on recognizing the contradictions and inconsistencies that are part of the path forward and through the use of metaphorical tales, or chronicles, explored the uncertain future.  In this tradition, this panel ponders the future of race, law, and racial justice advocacy.  Given the past decade that has included both epic changes and enduring inequalities, what does this portend for the next ten years?  What do we foresee as our major challenges and points of contestation?  How should we respond? What are litigation and legal advocacy tools that we can employ in the future to address racial inequality?
 
5:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Closing
 

CRS Alumni Celebration Dinner: Covel Commons

 
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Book Reception:
by Devon Carbado and Mitu Gulati
 
7:00 – 10 p.m.
CRS Alumni Celebration Dinner & Program: Covell Commons
 
Alumni of the Year Award:  Saúl Sarabia, Founder and Principal, Solidarity~Solidaridad Consulting; Program Director, Critical Race Studies 2005-2011; UCLA Law ‘96
 
Community Partner Award:  A New Way of Life Re-Entry Clinic: Susan Burton, Founder and Executive Director; Joshua Kim, Staff Attorney; CT Turney, Staff Attorney
 
Master of Ceremonies: W. Kamau Bell, Comedian, Political Satirist, and Star of FX’s Totally Biased
 
Socio-political comedian, community activist, and latenight TV host W. Kamau Bell is taking the comedy world by storm.  His weekly half-hour FX series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, premiered to critical acclaim with the New York Times calling Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.”  Salon.com listed Kamau on their “Sexiest Men of 2012” list, calling the show “surreptitiously revolutionary in its effortless diversity and humanism,” and the San Francisco Chronicle raves, “it makes The Daily Show seem like something your dad watches…FX should consider giving Bell a nightly slot.”  The show is executive produced by Chris Rock, who became a fan after seeing a performance of Kamau’s one man show, “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour,” which received rave reviews from audiences, critics, and industry insiders. Kamau is a founding member of the stand-up comedy collective “Laughter Against the Machine,” which toured some of the most politically charged states in the country in 2011 shooting a documentary that explores what role coedy plays in the revolution.  In addition to visiting seven of the Occupy Wall Street encampments, they crossed the border in Arizona with immigration rights groups Culturestrike and Puente, marched with striking hotel workers in Chicago, touched the levee in the lower 9th ward in New Orleans, and hung out with street artists against oil pipelines in DC.  In 2012, portions of the documentary were featured at The Netroots Nation Rally and The Take Back The American Dream Conference.