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Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America: Incarceration and the Law

The Criminal Justice System


  • Regina Austin, William A. Schnader Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania
  • Malitta Engstrom, Associate Professor, Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, University of Pennsylvania
  • Hannah L. Walker, Assistant Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin

“Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America” is a preceptorial designed to provide a broad overview of the causes and consequences of racism in the United States, as well as ways in which this deep-seated “stain” on American society has been and might better be addressed. While racism and other forms of discrimination affect people of various identities, and exist in different forms across the globe, the focus of this preceptorial is specifically on racism towards African Americans in the United States. We hope to develop future preceptorials addressing other forms and locations of discrimination and structural inequality in the future.

Format: Preceptorials are non-credit seminars led by Penn faculty and often including guest participants. They are designed to foster an interactive, conversational experience with no grades or tests, with the goal of “learning for learning’s sake,” making it an ideal platform for discussing an issue as complex, sensitive and timely as racism.

“Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America” will consist of a unique series of 13 interdisciplinary conversations among leading scholars and practitioners drawn from a wide range of fields. Each conversation will focus on the ways in which institutional racism is deeply embedded in different parts of our economic, political, social, and cultural systems. While each conversation will have its own dynamic, all will be organized around three central questions:

  • What is the current state of racial disparity regarding the topic?
  • What are the root causes of this disparity?
  • How has or might this disparity be best addressed?

To learn more, visit the preceptorial Canvas site using your PennKey.

The virtual panel conversations are open to the entire Penn community.

Event Details

February 11, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
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