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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."

Those 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 unequal policing, concerns about anti-Asian violence, racial inequities in public education, and continuing efforts to disenfranchise minority voters, 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 generating insights and solutions for the problems of racial inequality and oppression, and promoting citizenship and democracy in the domestic and global contexts.

The Center collaborates with law firms, civil rights organizations, and other legal institutions in public discussions and litigation addressing systemic racial discrimination and the oppression and marginalization of people of color in this country and around the world.

The Center also established the LEAP pipeline program (now called IDEAL) to increase diversity in legal education and the legal profession by identifying talented college students in the New York City area who are from underrepresented communities and introducing them to the legal profession

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
Holland & Knight, LLP

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

Brenda L. Gill, Esq. ’95
Deputy General Counsel

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
Chief Diversity Officer
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Michelle Y. Johnson-Lewis, Esq. ’93
Regulatory Counsel
Celgene Corporation

Michael Kim, Esq. ’97
Blank Rome LLP

Rachel M. Kleinman, Esq. ’05
Senior Counsel & Director of Professional Development
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
Partner, Chief Human Resource Officer
TPG Global

Join Us for Upcoming Events


Recent Events

October 15th and 16th, 2021
The Center, along with the Stein Center for Law and Ethics, sponsored a “Subversive Lawyering Colloquium” on October 15th and 16th where scholars such as Paul Butler, Andrew Crespo, Eloise Lawrence, Zohra Ahmed, and Scott Cummings discussed what it means to be a subversive lawyer/law professor, i.e., to seek to disrupt, or even overthrow aspects of the legal system through means that are less than transparent, even transgressive. Essays will soon be published in @FordhamLRev.

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