Michigan State University College of Law will hold a symposium titled “Is It Time for Truth & Reconciliation in Post-Ferguson America?” on March 16–17, 2018. In advance of the event, the Symposium Committee invites submissions to be presented at the conference and published in a special issue of Michigan State Law Review.
Ever since Europeans first settled the continent over four hundred years ago, racial injustice has existed in North America. Human bondage was formally recognized in the United States for nearly a century following the Nation’s birth in 1776. While the Thirteenth Amendment officially abolished slavery in 1865 and the Fourteenth Amendment mandated equal protection in 1868, nearly another century passed before “separate but equal” was repudiated and some progress was made.Today we still see persistent racial inequities throughout American society. The criminal justice/prison complex disproportionately targets, captures and incarcerates persons of color; and police shootings of unarmed black victims – such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in Aug. 2014 – are grimly commonplace. It is difficult to deny, in light of this history, that America has a major problem of race.
What can be done? Truth and Reconciliation is a process that has been used effectively in other nations and cultures (e.g., South Africa; native nations) following times of deep racial discord/violence. The idea is that true healing can begin only when past atrocities and injustices are first acknowledged and addressed.
Interested parties should submit an abstract of 300–500 words by September 29, 2017 to Professor Catherine Grosso (grosso[at]law.msu.edu) and Marie Gordon (mgordon[at]law.msu.edu). For more information, contact Professor Michael Lawrence (michael.lawrence[at]law.msu.edu) or Professor Catherine Grosso (grosso[at]law.msu.edu).