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, CRT 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. The opening segment to this series was an edited version of a conversation that took place on the first day of AAPF’s 5-day CRT Summer School.
The second installment of this series examined how throughout our country’s struggle to reckon with its racial legacies, one powerful faction continually recasts racial justice as a form of racial discrimination against white people. Against this backdrop, today’s attacks on, and distortions of, CRT are not a new ideological project, but reminiscent of narratives from Reconstruction to Jim Crow to modern campaigns against affirmative action. In this second segment, which is an edited conversation from a 2022 American Association of Law Schools Hot Topics session, panelists discussed the exercise and limits of state power in the American Legislative Exchange Council-coordinated campaign to ban under the umbrella of "Critical Race Theory," any possibility of learning about systemic racism and sexism, antisemitism, LGBTQ+ youth, among many other topics. Some of legal academy's most respected thought leaders addressed whether there is a constitutional right to race and gender justice education and whether these educational gag orders violate the First or Fourteenth Amendments, what role law schools can play to address this censorship campaign, why there has been a less than robust response from certain corners, and how free speech differs from academic freedom. Please note that this webinar was not recorded.
In lieu of a recording, please see this Event Leave-Behind Highlights (PDF), provided by the AAPF.