Seizing the Moment and Supporting the Movement: Defund the Police & Feminist Theory and Practice
Conference / Event Title
Association of American Law Schools (AALS) 2021 Conference on Clinical Legal Education: Reckoning with our Past and Building for the Future
Across the country we saw thousands of individuals take to the streets this summer to march with and for the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite a national pandemic, many risked their lives with their community by their side to mourn the Black lives we’ve lost but also to show resilience and a deep desire for fundamental transformation of the policing function and the carceral state. The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were just the latest flashpoints in the over two-hundred-year history of police violence targeting Black and brown people.
Structural racism is deeply foundational and no one approach can excavate and unearth it in its entirety, but the speakers suggest ways to interrupt current police practices that proliferate racism and injustice. The question this panel poses to the audience is: how can law schools seize the moment and work hand-in-hand to support the efforts of our Black communities? How do race and gender intersect in this moment? This panel includes a diverse array of legal educators who share their varied yet complementary work responding to the policing crisis and the recently reinvigorated demands for racial justice.
Through the lens of intersectional racial justice, this panel hopes to engage attendees in a dynamic conversation that discusses multiple strategies for change. For example, panelists will discuss the need to be conscious of existing narratives within the law and how those narratives have shaped society's view of, or willingness to, examine the tensions between abolition and reform. Panelists will also discuss the pros and cons of policy and litigation approaches, strategies for introducing students to movement lawyering and an intersectional analysis to the legal and public policy issues related to the criminal legal system.
Smith, Brenda V.; Bedi, Sheila; Makar, Zina; and Ross, Josephine, "Seizing the Moment and Supporting the Movement: Defund the Police & Feminist Theory and Practice" (2021). Presentations. 676.