“The Unfinished Work”Advancing New Strategies in the Struggle for Civil Rights UNC Center for Civil Rights November 1-2, 2010 john a. powell Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Judges have tried to narrowly define Civil Rights…. But everything is connected.
Retrenchment, Step 1: The Trilogy The Slaughter-House Cases (1873) Nullifies the Privileges or Immunities Clause The Civil Rights Cases (1883) State action doctrine Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Separate but equal
Retrenchment, Step 2: Modern Precedent Brown v. Board of Education Ambiguous whether anti-subordination or anti-classification logic applies Adarand Constructors v. Pena All govt. racial classifications must pass strict scrutiny Grutter and Gratz Racial considerations okay to promote diversity in higher ed, but must be part of holistic process Parents Involved Plurality, save J. Kennedy, says 14th Amendment means anti- classification/colorblindness approach
Remaining Equity Tools Affirmative action programs increasingly in doubt State action requirement is an obstacle Structural remedies very difficult…
Examining one wire is not enoughOne wire cannot explain why a bird cannot fly. But multiple wires,arranged in specific ways, reinforce each other and trap the bird.
We must look at systems, structures, and structural racialization School Lower Segregation & Educational Concentrated Outcomes Poverty Increased Neighborhood Flight Segregation of Affluent FamiliesWe see that the answer to “why aren’t we moving forward” is more structural than we realize.
The Need for Systems ThinkingAn analysis of any one area will yield an incomplete Health understanding. Childcare Employment Housing We must consider how institutions interact with Effective Education one another to produce Participation racialized outcomes. Transportation
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