Hamline News

Center for Justice and Law 2020-2021

A message from Director of the Center for Justice and Law, Susi Keefe.

The 2020-2021 Center for Justice and Law theme is: "Health, Justice, and the Law". Over the course of the past year, it has been evident to myself and our community the inherent intersections between our criminal-legal system and health equity work taking place locally, nationally, and globally.

This year, as we orient our work to fulfill our mission of developing creative, concrete, and equitable solutions to legal issues and policy concerns through teaching, research and active collaboration with community partners and policy makers we will work to strengthen these opportunities to connect and partner with public health in our local, state, and national communities.

With the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic and an international movement for racial justice, this moment calls for a radical reckoning of the depths of inequality in our country and the world.

In service to this, we aim to center all of our events around the following three commitments:
–Employing an anti-racist lens; including our choice of speakers, content, branding and facilitation

–Centering community members as experts in identifying and designing solutions to policy & legal challenges

–Bridging the gap between theory & practice

Through our work, we intend to align the anti-racist vision and efforts of the Center for Justice and Law to that of global and local protests against racialized police violence. We recognize the murders of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Dreasjon “Sean” Reed, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Monika Diamond, Ahmaud Arbery, and Miles Hall as a part of a much larger spectrum of structural violence instigated on marginalized communities. Their deaths have also occurred in a context in which Black people are also far likelier to die from COVID-19 than their white counterparts. As a university-based initiative focused on investigating a particular set of intertwined issues related to justice and law, we have deliberately chosen to listen, learn, and formulate concrete steps to support Black lives, especially in our community.

Our first event will be in observation of Constitution Day and will be an opportunity to engage in a conversation with young community leaders on the recent Supreme Court's rulings including LGBTQ+ workplace protections, DACA restoration, Indigenous land recognition, and reproductive justice. This event will be entirely held via our Center for Justice and Law Facebook Live.

Save the dates for our upcoming events (CEU's will be available): 

–Friday, October 30th: Community Health, Research, and Trauma: Perspectives from Young Black Scholars
–October/November: Weekly CJL Spotlight on the 2020 Election
–Friday, December 6th: Money Bail System & Public Health: Roots, Consequences, Pathways Forward

I look forward to a year filled with impactful conversations alongside our collective community. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns, or opportunities for partnership.

More information is available at the CJL webpage.