Welcome to the 2nd Annual Critical Race Theory Conference at Harvard Law!
The theme for this year’s conference is Freedom Dreaming for a Radical Reconstruction. We carefully chose Abolition Democracy as the guiding academic principle for this conference, as its framework invites us to critique existing systems while preserving space to imagine and plan for the future.
After years of demands, HLS has finally hired a single CRT scholar to the faculty for the fall of 2021, Prof. Guy-Uriel Charles, incoming faculty director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. During this year’s conference, Prof. Charles will help us examine the past and dream the future of CRT.
The CRT conference was born out of the recognition of a void in legal education at Harvard Law School. This institution has among its alumni and former professors the founding figures of the school of legal thought known as Critical Race Theory. This body of legal thought has a theoretical framework that examines and seeks to transform the relationship between the intersections of identities (such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and national origin) and state power, violence, and subordination. Accordingly, CRT rejects the traditional civil rights incrementalist approaches and questions theories of “color-blindness,” liberalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.
CRT has three core tenets. First, racism and other forms of subordination are deeply embedded in the legal system and in the ordinary functions of our society, aka “the system isn’t broken, it’s working as designed.” Second, both elite and working-class white people accrue benefits from this system and thus are often induced into maintaining it. This tenet is known as interest-convergence theory and can be understood as “race for profit.” Third, racism and other forms of subordination are socio-political and economic constructs used to oppress minority groups in order to preserve white supremacy, aka there is no biological basis for race.
The schedule of events is below, and will be updated as we finalize with a few more speakers. Full event descriptions and updates will be posted to our website: https://orgs.law.harvard.edu/thebellcollective/. More updates on zoom links and food vouchers soon.
|HLSCRT2021: Freedom Dreaming for a Radical Reconstruction|
|Tues. April 6
@ 7-8:30 PM
|Opening and Welcome – with Profs. Ken Mack & Guy-Uriel Charles|
|Wed. April 7
@ 5-6:30 PM
|The Border as Exceptional Space – with ACLU attorney Mohammad Tajsar (interactive workshop format)|
|Thurs. April 8
@ 12-1 PM
|Introduction to Institute to End Mass Incarceration – with Premal Dharia
(for HLS students only & requires registration here)
|Mon. April 12
@ 12-1 PM
|Intro to Critical Race Theory – with Prof. Portia Pedro|
|Mon. April 12
@ 4-5 PM
|Intro to Ujima – exploration of solidarity economy with Boston Ujima Project (interactive workshop format)|
|Tues. April 13 @11:30am-12:30pm||Racial Capitalism – With Prof. Renee Hatcher and Lisa Owens (City Life/Vida Urbana)|
|Tues. April 13
|Racial Capitalism and Solidarity Economy reflection space – with Prof. Renee Hatcher and Boston Ujima Project|
|Fri. April 16
@ 12-1 PM
|Art and Abolition – with the HLS FiLM society, Nadege Green & Lauren Williams. Requires registration here.|
|Sun. April 18
@ 2-3 PM
|Closing Reflection – with Profs. Aziza Ahmed and Guy-Uriel Charles|
|Wed. April 14
@12 – 1:30 PM
|Challenging Mass Incarceration from the Inside Out – Wed, April 14, 12-1:30 PM|
If you or an event participant requires disability-related accommodations, please contact Student Support Services in the Dean of Students office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-495-1880 in advance of the event.