Volume 27 Symposium

Day 1: Keynote Address
Monday, March 28th 12pm – 1pm ET

The Keynote Speaker is Professor Natsu Taylor Saito from Georgia State University.

Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95559931307

Day 2: Aftermath of Flint and Environmental Racism in America
Tuesday, March 29th 12pm – 1pm ET

During its height, the Flint Water Crisis made international news and was condemned by the U.N. as a violation of human rights. Since attention to the crisis has died down, thousands of Flint residents continue to live with lead pipes, similar crises of toxic water exposure have occurred around the country, and communities of color are forced to carry the heaviest burdens. Detroit residents pay some of the highest rates for water in the country and, presently, thousands of residents are living without running water. Access to public health has become increasingly racialized and privatized. This panel examines the current realities of individuals impacted by the ongoing Flint Water Crisis and the work being done to equalize the health landscape.

Simone Lightfoot, Associate Vice President at the National Wildlife Federation

Rhonda Anderson, Organizer at Sierra Club
Abdul El-Sayed, Physician
Mike Steinberg, Professor at MLaw

Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95559931307

Day 3: Crimmigation, State Surveillance of Immigrants, and Xenophobia
Wednesday, March 30th 12pm – 1pm ET

Increased immigration enforcement efforts have created an environment of fear within immigrant communities around the country, involving the criminalization of immigrants (“crimmigration”) and mass state surveillance initiatives that have become increasingly invasive over the last few decades. This panel delves into ways communities are fighting back against crimmigration, specifically looking at efforts to increase transparency regarding the cooperation of local law enforcement with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and attempts to turn localities into sanctuary or welcoming cities. Further, this panel explores the importance of understanding nuance in the intersections of critical race theory, immigration enforcement, and criminal legal systems.

Ruby Robinson, Attorney at Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Yolanda Vázquez, Law Professor at University of Cincinnati
Azadeh Shahshahani, Attorney at Project South
Karla McKanders, Law Professor at Vanderbilt University,
Ravi Ragbir, Organizer

Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95559931307

Day 4: Youth Justice: Extreme Sentences for Juveniles and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Thursday, March 31st 12pm – 1pm ET

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Miller v. Alabama retroactively prohibited the imposition of juvenile life without parole sentences. Over three hundred “juvenile lifers” in Michigan alone continue to await resentencing. Additionally, zero tolerance expulsion policies in schools often “feed” students who face disciplinary action (who are disproportionately students of color) into the criminal legal system. This panel examines the on-going fight to protect youth from extreme and unconstitutional punishment and limit juvenile court involvement.

Belinda Dulin, Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution Center

Kimberly Thomas, Professor at MLaw and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic
Mark Fancher, Attorney at ACLU of Michigan
Maria Fernandez, Organizer at Advancement Project
Robert Saleem Holbrook, Executive Director at Abolitionist Law Center

Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95559931307

Day 5: US Racial Capitalism: The Role of Racism in America’s Modern Economy
Friday, April 1st 12pm – 1pm ET

In recent years, “racial capitalism” has emerged as a means of conceptualizing the direct link between race and capitalist exploitation in the modern world. This framework is based in large part on Cedric Robinson’s writings in Black Marxism. Scholars who study and write on racial capitalism today place race at the core of America’s modern economic structure, instead of thinking of racial subjugation and anti-Blackness as something that exists adjacent to or outside of the goals of capitalism. This panel examines this framework and helps attendees understand how racial capitalism functions in various areas of the law.

Angela Harris, Law Professor at UC Davis


Athena Mutua, Law Professor at University of Buffalo
K-Sue Park, Law Professor at Georgetown 

Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/95559931307