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Upcoming Events - Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice

Upcoming Events

September 12, 2023: Discussion of "Unreasonable" with author Devon W. Carbado

September 14 - 15, 2023: Advancing The Rule Of Law In U.S. Elections Symposium

October 5 - 6, 2023: Social Movements and the Politics of Law Symposium

October 26 - 27, 2023: Religion, Race & Social Justice Symposium

Discussion of "Unreasonable" with author Devon W. Carbado

Devon W. Carbado, author of Unreasonable: Black Lives, Police Power, and the Fourth Amendment

Join a candid discussion with Devon W. Carbado, author of Unreasonable: Black Lives, Police Power, and the Fourth Amendment on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, in Gambrell Hall, Room 5F.

Carbado is the former Associate Vice Chancellor of BruinX for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and The Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law, University of California Los Angeles.


CCRSJ Carter Center Logo


Engaging the Community. Inspiring Practitioners. Empowering Students.

A collaborative event sponsored by the Emory University School of Law Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice and the Carter Center. 6.5 CLE credits are available for this event. The Georgia Bar will direct bill participants after the event. 

Emory University School of Law
September 14-15, 2023 


“American democracy means every eligible person has the right to vote in an election that is fair, open, and secure. It should be flexible enough to meet the electorate’s changing needs. As Georgians, we must protect these values. We must not lose the progress we have made. We must not promote confidence among one segment of the electorate by restricting the participation of others. Our goal always should be to increase, not decrease, voter participation.”

President James E. Carter, March 21, 2021

"Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.”

Congressman John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, 2017

Voting is one of the most important rights. Channeling the spirit of two Georgians and national icons, President James E. Carter and the late Congressman John Lewis, Emory Law’s Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice and the Carter Center have formed a partnership with the shared goal developing practical approaches and training to stakeholders working to protect the right to vote and advance the rule of law in the United States. This symposium, the first in a series of collaborations, will broker a dialogue on election law and voting rights among community members, the legal community, and other leaders; announce opportunities for student training and job placement in organizations committed to safeguarding democracy; and provide stakeholders with the necessary skills to advance democracy and political participation through lawyering and other forms of advocacy.

event flier

September 14, 2023 at the Emory University School of Law

12 p.m.


Lunch discussion designed to inspire student interest in social engagement and announce legal fellowships and other learning opportunities related to election law and democracy.
3-5 p.m.Mixer on Bacardi Plaza
6 - 7:30 p.m.

Roundtable on Voting Rights and Community Concerns with Fred Gray and other distinguished guests,

September 15, 2023 at the Emory University School of Law

10 – 11:30 a.m.Panel Discussion One: Historical Perspective on Voting Rights (Emory Law John Lewis Chair in Civil Rights and Social Justice and CCRSJ Faculty Director Darren Lenard Hutchinson, Moderator)
12 – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch (Keynote Speaker to be announced)

1:45-3:15 p.m.Panel Discussion Two: The Current State of Affairs for Voting Rights in Georgia and the United States (Aklima Khondoker, The Carter Center Technical Director, U.S. Elections Program, Moderator)
3:30 – 5 p.m.

Panel Discussion Three: Visions for the Future (Panelists to be announced)

5:15 p.m.Closing Reception
6 p.m.Private Dinner for Invited Guests
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The Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice
October 5-6, 2023
Emory University School of Law

View the PDF flyer »


“A liberation movement seeks fundamental social change: we are for a just world in which racism, homophobia, sexism, economic injustice, and other systems of domination are frankly addressed and replaced with new models. Such a movement begins first of all with an act of faith that the movement and society are possible. Put another way, this faith in social change is what the theorist bell hooks has so elegantly termed ‘the power of disbelief.’ We must disbelieve in the permanence of things as they are in order to believe in our ability to launch a new gay and lesbian liberation movement."

- Urvashi Vaid in Virtual Equality, 1996

This symposium examines the possibility of creating social change by merging legal and political advocacy with social movement activity. Esteemed speakers will convene to reflect on the life of Urvashi Vaid, who painstakingly advanced social justice using a multidimensional lens that exposed the connections between inequity based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, poverty, immigrant status and nationality, and disability. After examining Vaid’s contributions to the theory and practice of social change, panelists will offer recommendations for contemporary social justice advocacy during a climate of stiff political resistance.

October 6, 2023 at the Emory University School of Law

9:30 – 11 a.m.
Panel Discussion One: Lessons from Urvashi: Bridging Theory and Practice (Nan Hunter, Moderator)

Members of this panel, each of whom worked with Urvashi Vaid at some point in her life, will reflect on the impact of her work and how today’s advocates can use the lessons learned from her legacy of combining radicalism and pragmatism to move social justice forward.

  • John D’Emilio, Professor Emeritus of History and Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Sue Hyde, Co-Founder/Former Executive Director, NGLTF Creating Change Conference
  • Alyasah Sewell, Associate Professor of Sociology, Emory University College of Arts and Sciences and Founder/Director of The Race and Policing Project
  • Dean Spade, Wismer Professor for Gender and Diversity, Seattle Law School

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Panel Discussion Two: Law and Social Justice (Moderator to be announced)

Urvashi Vaid’s work was grounded in a myriad of spaces including scholarship, policy, and grassroots activism. This panel, through an interdisciplinary lens, will explore how law and social justice intersect and the relative advantages and disadvantages of using legal strategies in the quest for justice.

  • Sahar Aziz, Professor of Law and Chancellor's Social Justice Scholar, Rutgers Law School
  • Nan D. Hunter, Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Law Emeritus, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida

1:00 p.m.

2:30 – 4 p.m.
Panel Discussion Three: Visions for the Future (Nancy Marcus, Moderator)

Building on the earlier discussions, this panel will seek to identify themes for potential activism and to carve out a vision for success while examining challenges to emerging issues in social justice work, including but not limited to criminal justice reform, reproductive justice, public health, and antiracism.

  • Honorable Simone Bell, Former Member, Georgia House of Representatives
  • Darren Hutchinson, John Lewis Chair for Civil Rights and Social Justice and Faculty Director, Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice, Emory University School of Law
  • Brenda V. Smith, Professor of Law and Director of Community Economic and Equity Development Clinic, American University Washington College of Law

4:15 p.m.
Closing Reception

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The Center for Civil Rights and Civil Justice
October 26-27, 2023
Emory University School of Law


“I know of no way to separate God from the noble work that the NAACP is doing. Religion at its best is a two-way road. On the one hand it seeks to change the soul of the individual so that he can be one with himself and with God. On the other hand, it seeks to change environmental conditions so that the soul can have a chance once it is changed. Therefore, any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about economic conditions that cripple them and the social conditions that damn them is a dry as dust religion in need of new blood."

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ebony, September 1958

Religion and religious identity strongly influence law, society, and politics. During the Civil Rights Movement, religious leader and activist Dr. Martin Luther King based much of his advocacy on the believe that Christian values were inseparable from pursuit of an egalitarian society free of hierarchies defined by race, class, and other forms of disempowerment. During King’s life, however, religion also served as an instrument of repression, as certain belief groups invoked religious doctrine to justify racism, sexism, and other social harms. The intersection of law, social justice, and injustice has a long historical footprint in the United States, reaching as far back as the period of enslavement. This symposium brings together a diverse group of speakers to discuss the interaction of religion, society, and justice from historical and contemporary perspectives. 

October 26, 2023

6:00 p.m.

Opening Reception and Dinner

October 27, 2023 at the Emory University School of Law

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Panel Discussion One: Religion, Gender and Society

Panelists will examine womanist and feminist values in a law and religion context. Potential topics of exploration include the contributions of women to racial justice movements, how women religious leaders can help transform society for disadvantaged communities, and religious identity and gendered social relations.

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion Two: Religious Identity and Subordination

This panel examines the intersection of religious identity and subordination, focusing on matters such as racism, Christian fundamentalism, and antisemitism.

12:30 p.m.

Lunch (Keynote Speaker to be announced)

2:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion Three: Sexuality, Gender Identity, and Religion

Participants on this panel will discuss works related to religion, sexuality, and gender identity. Topics will include religion, homophobia, and transphobia, progressive theology and religious practices in the context of LGBTQIA communities, contemporary legal policy toward sexual and gender minorities and religious values.

3:45 – 5:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion Four: Religion, Social Justice, and Countermovements

Panelists will examine the historical and contemporary relevance of religion to movements seeking broad progressive social change. They will offer insights on abolition, the Civil Rights Movement, and modern political activism like Black Lives Matter, resistance to Islamophobia, womanism and feminism, wealth and income inequality, and LGBTQIA rights.

5:15 p.m.

Closing Reception 

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