OJ Simpson’s parole hearing provides another opportunity to consider race in the criminal justice system.
Nikita Srivastava (’19)
Former football player and Hollywood star, OJ Simpson will have a parole hearing on Thursday, July 20th, 2017. In December 2008, Simpson was convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison with the possibility of parole in 6 years. This, of course, was not Simpson’s first encounter with the law. In 1994, a jury acquitted Simpson of the murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman. His high profile case sparked a division on race relations in this nation.
Simpson’s parole hearing will occur when race remains a highly contested and hotly debated topic in this nation. As a result, it’s fitting to examine Joe’s Feagin concept of the white racial frame (WRF) helps us understand why Simpson and his legal issues embody issues of race. And, to watch the Oscar-winning documentary, OJ: Made in America, which brings these complicated issues to life. Continue reading “OJ Simpson Revisited”
Cultural ignorance slows the progress of social justice.
Guest Contributor: Nikita Srivastava, (’19)
As a minority woman in the United States, I am often defined by the color of skin. Although I take pride in my heritage, it is not the only thing that defines who I am. I find myself explaining who I am (or what defines me) more often than my white peers. Not only is this common in social settings, but professional settings as well. What makes matters worse is that my concerns about cultural ignorance are dismissed as “little things.” Continue reading “I speak Hindi, I am Hindu, and I’m an American: Fighting “Little Things””
Adam J. Foss shares his vision for prosecutors at the YWCA Racial Justice Breakfast.
In less than ten years, Adam J. Foss has demonstrated how one young lawyer can make a difference. A cum laude graduate from Suffolk Law School in Boston in 2008, Foss became
a prosecuting attorney who quickly realized just how much power he wielded. Choosing solutions over a high conviction rate, Foss worked with criminal defendants to achieve justice, something he said never learned in law school. Foss shares his insights on criminal justice at the YWCA Racial Justice Breakfast on Tuesday, March 21. The Center will livestream his talk in room 118 at 8 a.m.
Foss has since left the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, to work full time at Prosecutor Integrity, which he co-founded with John Legend and his manager Ty Stiklorius. This new organization seeks to broaden prosecutors’ perspectives by training them to see defendants as individuals not defined by their crimes and, in so doing, challenge a mindset that measures success in terms of convictions. In his popular TED talk, Foss said that prosecutors can be the difference between catastrophe and intervention, support, or even love.
To see Foss’s talk at the College of Law, register here. It’s free and breakfast will be provided.
Melania Trump’s actions suggest she may not be a traditional First Lady.
Could Melania Trump be challenging the traditional First Lady script? She’s living in New York with her youngest son and recently declined to accompany her Japanese counterpart Akie Abe when she was visited Washington. Is Mrs. Trump planning to remake the East Wing? Continue reading “Breaking the Mold?”
Greetings from the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice! We have a very busy February schedule! Check out the below roster of this month’s programs and events which we hope will be of interest to you. If you would like further information on any of these events, don’t hesitate to email us at LawRGSJ@uc.edu. If you’re a local reader, we hope to see you at this month’s events!
UC’s The Cincinnati Project is hosting their 3rd Annual Symposium . Leading Black feminist scholar Dr. Patricia Hill Collins, distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland and Charles Phelps Taft Emeritus Professor of Sociology in the Department of African American Studies here at the University of Cincinnati, is keynoting. You can register here for free!
Fri., Feb. 24 @ 9:30am-4:30pm at TUC (room locations TBD)
UC Law alum and ProKids Executive Director Tracy Cook (‘90) will join us for a Coffee Corner where she’ll discuss how students can get involved with the important work of her organization. Bring your lunch and share some coffee and cookies with us.
The YWCA, Mercantile, and the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center are co-hosting the first in a series called “Days of Dialogue,” based on the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me and frequent contributor to The Atlantic. Register for this event here. The Center will also be hosting a Days of Dialogue session on April 5 – stay tuned for details!
Mon., Mar. 1 @ 5-7:30pm at TUC(we know, technically not February but close enough!)
UC’s Chapter of the 1 in 3 Campaign is hosting Activist-in-Residence, Jennifer Baumgardner, as part of Women’s History Month and QueerCat Pride Week. You can learn more and register for free tickets here.
Senator Sessions’ consistent opposition to civil rights makes him wrong for Justice.
As confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions begin today, some Senators may be tempted to dismiss objections to his elevation as a smear campaign based on ancient history. But, when it comes to Sen. Sessions, the past is prologue. Sessions is the wrong person to be the nation’s top law enforcer. Continue reading “Equal Opportunity Offender”
In 1990 I was an attorney for the Voting Rights Section of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Much to my mother’s dismay, I got sent to Mississippi to investigate the political and social environment in Noxubee County. The question was whether minority voters’ rights were in such jeopardy that federal observers were necessary. Among the folks I met was a tiny white woman with cotton-candy hair and matching glasses who couldn’t get my name right and asked me the same question.
Yew behavin’ yur-self?”
My role in this woman’s play was merely to smile and nod. After all, as a government outsider talking to Black voters about their concerns pre-election day, I clearly was not being good girl. Memories of that time, place, and irksome woman came to mind when I learned that federal observers wouldn’t be out in full force this presidential election. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which also hobbled the Department of Justice’s ability to enforce the law. Continue reading “Election(s) Matter(s)”
“Hey Cuz. Hope you are well. Can you give me a call this evening…”
Anytime someone sends a text asking you to call, that’s a bad sign. It foreshadows something texts can’t handle. “Damn,” I thought.
“Cousin,” she’d called me that since she and Pete got married in 1987; since his last name is Williams, folks assumed I was family. After all, Williams is a pretty unique name for Black folks…that was a joke that never got old. Even now, as I anticipated the worst.