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Center on Race, Law and Justice

Activists gathered for peaceful rally for racial equality

"The United States is in the midst of a national conversation about race and inequality unlike any seen in a generation."

The above words were written in 2016, when Fordham's Center on Race, Law and Justice was first launched, but could have easily been written today. Indeed, given the ongoing protests over police violence, the racial inequities brought to the surface by Covid-19, and a recent administration that was openly hostile to racial minorities, the work of the Center on Race, Law and Justice seems more urgent than ever. 

Since its launch in 2016, the Center on Race, Law and Justice has become a national voice in: 

  • intervening in current debates about race, citizenship, and democracy
  • promoting critical, interdisciplinary, and methodologically innovative scholarship and approaches to understanding race and discrimination
  • generating insights and solutions necessary to achieve real and positive change on race issues
  • collaborating with law firms and other legal institutions to address issues of diversity and access in the legal profession
  • establishing the LEAP pipeline program (now call IDEAL) to increase diversity in education and the law by identifying talented underrepresented college students in the New York City area and exposing them to the legal profession

Going forward, and with its new Director, Professor Bennett Capers, the Center on Race, Law and Justice is committed to playing an even greater role for students at Fordham Law School, and for the community at large, both domestically and internationally. Law schools have always played an important role in the movement for equality. The Center looks forward to being at the vanguard of that movement. 

Interdisciplinary Areas

The Center’s approach to race and law incorporates fields such as history, sociology, and political science and features analytical tools drawn from:

  • Critical Race Theory
  • Comparative Law
  • Empirical Methods
  • Structuralism and Institutional Reform
  • Legal History
  • Feminist Legal Theory

Courses / Areas of Law

  • Affirmative Action
  • Antidiscrimination
  • Civil Rights Advocacy
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Community and Economic Development
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Environmental Justice
  • Family and Family Advocacy
  • Health and Biomedical Ethics
  • Housing
  • Human Rights
  • Immigration
  • International Development and Sustainability
  • Internet and Information Technologies
  • Legal Ethics
  • Legal History
  • Legislation
  • National Security
  • Poverty
  • Urban Studies
  • Voting Rights
  • Workers Rights and Solidarity


The Center functions as an incubator and a platform for advancing cutting-edge interdisciplinary scholarship on racial identity, cumulative disadvantage, and racial justice tools that are grounded in critical analyses, empirical methods, and comparative inquiry. 

It helps generate original research and analysis of core civil rights and social justice issues. 

It promotes innovations in legal pedagogy, practice, and professionalism in relation to issues of race, civil rights, and diversity. 

Advisory Board

The Center on Race, Law & Justice is grateful to the members of its advisory board for providing invaluable guidance and support throughout the year.

Vivian M. Arias, Esq. ’07
Thompson & Knight, LLP

The Honorable Denny Chin ’78
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Brenda L. Gill, Esq. ’95
Burgher Gray Jaffe LLP

Angelo R. Guisado, Esq. ’12
Staff Attorney
Center for Constitutional Rights

Noah S. Heller, Esq. ’00
Chief Executive Officer
Katten Muchin & Rosenman, LLP

Megan L. Hogan, Esq. ’06
Vice President, Human Capital Management
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Michelle Y. Johnson-Lewis, Esq. ’93
Senior Director Franchise Counsel
Celgene Corporation

Michael Kim, Esq. ’97
Of Counsel
Blank Rome LLP

Rachel M. Kleinman, Esq. ’05
Senior Counsel
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

William Malpica, Esq. ’00
Martin LLP

Willajeanne F. McLean, Esq. ’86
Faculty, Law Instruction and Research
University of Connecticut

Anilu L. Vazquez-Ubarri, Esq. ’02
Chief Diversity Officer & Global Head of Talent Development
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Join Us for Upcoming Events


Recent Events

July 15, 2020
Inclusive Workplaces Best Practices: Implicit Bias and #MeToo Racial Blindspots
Jennifer K. Grady, Managing Partner, Richards Kibbe & Orbe - Speaker
Professor Tanya K. Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law, Fordham Law School - Speaker
Margaret W. Meyers, Partner, Richards Kibbe & Orbe - Speaker
James Q. Walker, Partner, Richards Kibbe & Orbe - Speaker

June 29, 2020
Black Lives Matter: Racism in America & its Implications for Africa
Sheila Foster, professor of law and public policy at Georgetown Law School and the McCourt School of Public Policy - Panelist
Bennett Capers, director of Fordham Law’s Center on Race, Law and Justice - Panelist
Gay McDougall, distinguished scholar in residence at the Leitner Center and the Center on Race, Law and Justice - Panelist
Honorable Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga, former chief justice and president of the Supreme Court of Kenya - Panelist
Kofi Abotsi, dean of the faculty of law at UPSA - Moderator

June 17, 2020
Black Lives Matter and the Criminal (In)Justice System: A Conversation with the Bench
Judge Theodore A. McKee, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit - Speaker
The Hon. Justice Dr. Willie Mutunga (Ret.), Former Chief Justice of Kenya and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya - Speaker