chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Legislative Backlash: Anti-Protest Bills, Voter Suppression Laws and Critical Race Theory

In the aftermath of the 2020 election cycle, and on the heels of a historic racial justice movement, GOP lawmakers have responded to the political mobilization of communities of color with legislative reprisals. For instance, in response to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations following George Floyd’s murder, Republican legislators introduced more than 80 anti-protest bills in 34 states during the 2021 legislative session. Similarly, after historically marginalized communities delivered Democratic victories, Republican lawmakers introduced 361 bills to restrict voting rights in 47 states during the first three months of this year. Moreover, in retaliation to demands for social change and racial equality, GOP lawmakers also proposed laws to restrict education on racism and bias. Our panelists discuss these distressing developments and necessary policy responses.

Welcome and Introduction

  • Reginald M. Turner, Jr., President, American Bar Association; Member, Clark Hill PLC
  • Dr. Luke Charles Harris, Deputy Director and Co-Founder, African American Policy Forum; Associate Professor of American Politics and Constitutional Law, Vassar College
  • Twanda Turner-Hawkins, Chair, ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice; Director, Global Litigation, Dematic Corp. and KION Americas
  • Beth K. Whittenbury, Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Principal, Beth K. Whittenbury & Associates


  • Deborah N. Archer, President, American Civil Liberties Union; Professor of Clinical Law, New York University School of Law; Co-Faculty Director, Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law; Co-Director, Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, New York University School of Law
  • Dr. Sumi Cho, Director of Strategic Initiatives, African American Policy Forum
  • Gerald Torres, Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Co-Founder, Critical Race Theory
  • Wendy R. Weiser, Vice President, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice


  • Engy Abdelkader, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law; Council Member, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Member, ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice; Fellow, American Bar Foundation


A Social Justice Summit Participant Handbook

Brennan Center for Justice John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Fact Sheet

Brennan Center for Justice Freedom to Vote Act Fact Sheet

#TruthBeTold Campaign | African American Policy Forum

Under the Blacklight Episode - Educators Ungagged: Teaching Truth in the Era of Racial Backlash | African American Policy Forum

N.H. ‘Teacher Loyalty’ bill would restrict how U.S. history, especially racism, can be discussed in school | New Hampshire Public Radio

Justice Department Addresses Violent Threats Against School Officials and Teachers | United States Department of Justice 

ABA Policy Summit Yields Recommendations for Racial Equity and Social Justice →

View the entire A Social Justice Policy Summit: A New Administration >>

Login to view the webinar recording. Not a member of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice? Join the Section today!

Support CRSJ

CRSJ provides free webinars and resources for legal professionals and advocates nationwide and relies on generous donor support and volunteer service. Your charitable gift ensures that we continue to address the deepening crises in our collective pursuit of advancing law and justice. Thank you!

Give Generously – Donate Today