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October 18, 2021 Critical Race Theory Webinar Series

The Insurgent Origins of Critical Race Theory: Looking Backwards to Move Forward

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the African American Policy Forum are pleased to collaborate on a four-part webinar series on Critical Race Theory (CRT). Over the past year, Critical Race Theory has been increasingly misrepresented by the Right in an organized, widespread effort to stifle racial justice and gender equity, and weaken our multiracial democracy. In response to these attacks, AAPF held a 5-day Critical Race Theory Summer School in mid-August 2021 to educate participants about the origins, principles, and insights of Critical Race Theory, and to chart a path forward.

This opening segment (listen via this podcast) to this series is an edited version of a conversation that took place on the first day of Summer School, and features some of the leading thinkers in the field of Critical Race Theory. Together, the panelists tell the story of how CRT came to be, explore what it teaches us about the world, and discuss how it can now help us protect the very existence of critical thinking about race. This webinar foregrounds the subtle but significant ways in which these ideas have been institutionalized and offers participants concrete tools to challenge and dislodge structural inequalities.

This four-part Critical Race Theory webinar series will be held in conjunction with CRSJ's quarterly meetings. Parts 2-4 will be held during the Midyear meeting in February, Spring meeting in April, and Annual meeting in August. Additional details are forthcoming - stay tuned!

Welcome and Introduction

  • Beth K. Whittenbury, Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Principal, Beth K. Whittenbury & Associates
  • Pamelya Herndon, CEO, KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change; Co-Chair, African American Affairs Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice


  • Anthony E. Cook, Professor of Law and Special Advisor to the Dean for Community and Justice, Georgetown University Law Center; Author, The Least of These: Race, Law, and Religion in American Culture
  • Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Co-Founder and Executive Director, African American Policy Forum; Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Distinguished Professor of Law and Promise Institute Chair in Human Rights, UCLA Law
  • Gloria Ladson-Billings, Pedagogical Theorist and Educator; Author, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
  • Daniel Martinez HoSang, Associate Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and of American Studies, Yale University; Author, Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California
  • Gary Peller, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Author, Critical Race Consciousness
  • Robert A. Williams, Jr., Regents Professor and E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law; Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law; Author, Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization

Moderated Q&A

  • Janel George, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Founding Director, Racial Equity in Education Law and Policy Clinic, Georgetown University Law Center; Co-Chair, Education Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice 
  • Gary Peller, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Author, Critical Race Consciousness

Joint Sponsor: African American Policy Forum

Co-Sponsors: ABA Center for Human RightsABA Center for Public Interest LawABA Center on Children and the LawABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic JusticeABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual ViolenceABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & ResponsibilitiesABA Commission on Homelessness & PovertyABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the ProfessionABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender IdentityABA Commission on Youth at RiskABA Council for Diversity in the Educational PipelineABA Criminal Justice SectionABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers DivisionABA Law Student DivisionABA Section of State and Local Government LawABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of CongressABA Standing Committee on Public EducationABA Young Lawyers Division


PODCAST The Insurgent Origins of Critical Race Theory | Intersectionality Matters!

A Lesson on Critical Race Theory | Human Rights Magazine, Janel George

ACLU sues Oklahoma, saying law restricting teaching of gender and race theories is unconstitutional | The Washington Post, October 20, 2021

Case Study: Philly remains one of the most racially segregated cities in America | The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 19, 2021

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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!

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