8th CRITICAL RACE STUDIES SYMPOSIUM - Race and Resistance: Against Police Violence2015 Critical Race Studies Symposium - Race and Resistance: Against Police Violence

OCTOBER 16-17, 2015

Day 1, Friday, October 16


  • Gene Block, UCLA Chancellor
  • Jerry Kang, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Professor of Law, Professor of Asian-American Studies (By Courtesy), Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo Chair in Korean American Studies, UCLA
  • Hon. David S. Cunningham III, Los Angeles Superior Court

Opening Roundtable: Understanding Police Violence

Structured in the form of a roundtable, this opening plenary will lay the foundation for the rest of the conference.  In addition to commenting on the causes of police violence and the role of law and civil rights organizing in solving the problem, panelists will discuss the ways in which police violence is implicated in immigration law, welfare policy, the school-to-prison pipeline, among other forms of state decision-making that, as a formal matter, sometimes occur outside of the criminal justice system.  In the context of the foregoing engagements, the panel will take an intersectional approach, highlighting the impact of police and other forms of state violence on cis women and transgendered, queer, and gender-non-conforming people.

Moderator: Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice

  1. Congresswoman Karen Bass, 37th Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives
  2. Povi-Tamu Bryant, Member, #BlackLivesMatter; Inter-Group Relations Coordinator, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles
  3. Jennifer Chacón, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
  4. Kimberlé Crenshaw, Distinguished Professor of Law, Columbia and UCLA School of Law
  5. Thomas Harvey, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Arch City Defenders
  6. Wesley Lowery, National Reporter, The Washington Post
  7. Jyoti Nanda, Lecturer in Law, UCLA School of Law

Day 2, Saturday, October 17

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.


  • Jasleen Kohli, Director, Critical Race Studies Program
  • Cheryl I. Harris, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Critical Race Studies Program Faculty Co-Director, UCLA School of Law

Plenary: Causes and Consequences of Police Misconduct

As recent events demonstrate, police violence and misconduct against people of color is systemic.  For the families most immediately affected as well as the communities in which they reside, the consequences are traumatic and often lethal.  Police misconduct is not isolated from broader social practices, policies and laws that implicate race, and indeed, in many ways, these practices arguably enable and incentivize misconduct.   This panel will explore the underlying assumptions, causes, and conceptions that animate racial profiling, use of force, and everyday policing practices that literally and symbolically devalue communities of color.

Moderator: Devon Carbado, The Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law, Critical Race Studies Program Faculty Co-Director, UCLA School of Law

  1. Amna Akbar, Assistant Professor of Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  2. Delroy Burton, Chairman, DC Police Union
  3. Phillip Atiba Goff, Associate Professor of Psychology, UCLA
  4. Senator Holly J. Mitchell, 30th District of California
  5. Angela R. Riley, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  6. Andrea Ritchie, Soros Justice Fellow and Civil Rights Attorney

Keynote: Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York

Introduction: Adam Romero, Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law

Plenary: Litigating Against Police Misconduct

A significant question with respect to ongoing incidences of police violence is whether law can solve the problem.  To put the question directly: Can we litigate our way out of the problem of police violence? The answer, it turns out, is “no.”  A complex set of legal doctrines—from different areas of law—converge to make it enormously difficulty to hold police officers criminally or civilly liable for their acts of violence.  The purpose of this panel is to highlight this litigation difficulty and explore whether there are opportunities to overcome it.

Moderator: Beth Colgan, Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

  1. Paul Butler, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
  2. Cynthia Lee, Charles Kennedy Poe Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law
  3. Sunita Patel, Practitioner-in-Residence, Civil Advocacy Clinic, American University Washington College of Law
  4. Joanna C. Schwartz, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  5. Kenneth M. Trujillo-Jamison, Associate, Munger, Tolles & Olson
  6. Pete White, Founder and Co-Director, Los Angeles Community Action Network

Closing Roundtable: Identifying Solutions

While recognizing the longstanding and deeply embedded nature of the problem of police misconduct and violence, this panel takes up the difficult question of how to craft meaningful responses.   In addition to legal reform, current debates around body cams and different models of civilian oversight are considered.  However, because police violence is bound up with structural issues that include inequitable laws, economic inequality and racialized perceptions, to achieve lasting, sustainable change, the panel will consider some of the broader solutions and interventions.

Moderator: Cheryl I. Harris, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Critical Race Studies Program Faculty Co-Director, UCLA School of Law

  1. Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices, ACLU of California
  2. Shiu-Ming Cheer, Immigration Attorney, National Immigration Law Center
  3. Nana Gyamfi, Attorney, Crenshaw Legal Clinic, Human Rights Advocacy
  4. Kathleen Kim, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School; Los Angeles Police Commissioner
  5. Kim McGill, Organizer, Youth Justice Coalition
  6. Isa Noyola, Program Manager, Transgender Law Center


  • Jennifer Mnookin, Dean and David G. Price and Dallas P. Price Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law