Save the Date! ClassCrits 9 Conference Oct. 21-22, 2016

The New Corporatocracy and Election 2016 (preliminary title)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

We are very excited to announce that the Loyola University Chicago School of Law will host next year’s ClassCrits conference in Chicago Illinois on Oct. 21-22, 2016! Thank you to the leadership of Professor Steven Ramirez of Loyola Law. A call for papers will be issued in the next several weeks. Please stay tuned for more details and save the date for ClassCrits IX!


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Police bias against victims of domestic & sexual violence

Re-posting this important survey from Move to End Violence . 

This is relevant to the ClassCrits VIII conference this past October at University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Law, where thought-provoking discussion and presentations emphasized the multidimensional nature of the problems of both domestic violence and police violence.

By Sandra Park, Donna Coker, and Julie Goldscheid

The shooting deaths by police of unarmed African-American men and the violent treatment of Sandra Bland have focused national attention and outrage on the problem of police racial bias and brutality. A new national survey finds that the same kind of police bias often affects police responses to sexual assault and domestic violence.

Over 900 advocates, service providers, and attorneys who work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence responded to a national survey regarding policing and domestic and sexual violence.  Responses from the Field: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Policing describes what they shared with us.

Advocates identified police inaction, hostility, and bias against survivors as a key barrier to seeking criminal justice intervention.  Eighty-eight percent (88%) said that police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence. Over 80% of respondents believed that police relations with marginalized communities influenced survivors’ willingness to call the police.  Respondents told us that many police are biased against women of color, immigrant women, and poor women. They are biased against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender survivors. They are biased against young survivors of sexual assault, believing that rape is really just “regret sex.” They are biased against sex workers and those who suffer drug addiction. Continue reading

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Join us at Classcrits 8, Univ. of Tenn. Knoxville Law!

We welcome you to join us at Classcrits VIII: Emerging Coalitions: Challenging the Structures of Inequality, October 23–24, 2015, at University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Law. Here is the registration and program. 

This year’s conference takes its inspiration from new alliances that have emerged on the progressive left, sparked in part by the shooting deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and other young black men by police officers across the country. In one example of these emerging coalitions, retail and fast food workers recently engaged in the “Fight for $15/Lucha Por $15” march wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” The conference will focus on the efforts of various community groups, students, academics, workers, and churches to combat injustice and inequality by forging connections across shared interests and forging robust coalitional praxes.

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ClassCrits VIII Call for Papers, Emerging Coalitions: Challenging the Structures of Inequality

Call for Papers

ClassCrits VIII Emerging Coalitions: Challenging the Structures of Inequality

Sponsored by the University of Tennessee College of Law
Knoxville, TN * October 23-24, 2015

Proposals due via email to by May 22, 2015.

Call For Papers and Participation (Download PDF)

In the past few months, new alliances have emerged on the progressive left, sparked in part by the shooting deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and other young black men by police officers across the country. After grand jury decisions refused to issue indictments in the Brown and Garner cases, protests erupted across the country, in big cities and small towns alike. While New York City police turned their backs on Mayor Bill DeBlasio after he remarked that he trains his biracial son on how to interact with the police, labor leader Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, noted that both Brown’s mother and the police officer who killed her son are union members. He commented, “Our brother killed our sister’s son and we do not have to wait for the judgment of prosecutors or courts to tell us how terrible this is.”

Retail and fast food workers engaged in the “Fight for $15/Lucha Por $15” march wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts, chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Across shared interests, community groups, students, and churches are increasingly supporting labor strikes and immigrant rights, among others. Reverend Dr. William Barber II of the N.A.A.C.P., a leader of North Carolina’s “Moral Mondays” movement, explains, “We recognize that the intersectionality of all these movements is our opportunity to fundamentally redirect America.”

These new alliances have emerged in an era of heightened economic vulnerability and precarity for the 99 percent. Continue reading

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Inequality and Gender Violence: Reflections on VAWA’s 20th Anniversary

The year 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  That milestone presented an opportunity to critically reflect on current gender-violence policy, and to build on shared critiques to flesh out an alternative agenda.  In that spirit, two new resources offer inspiration for mobilization and advocacy.  First, the City University of New York (CUNY) Law Review’s Footnote Forum has published an online collection of 15 short essays “re-imagining” VAWA in service of progressive reform.  The essays are based in an intersectional understanding of the ways in which various forms of inequality create and sustain violence.  They draw on critiques grounded in the movement against mass criminalization and intrusive state intervention in the lives of poor people, as well as in work for immigrant rights, economic rights, LGBTQ equality, disability rights, racial justice, and human rights.  The multi-disciplinary essays can be found here:

Similarly, the conversation held at CUNY Law School on November 13, 2014, “VAWA@20:  Reflecting, Re-imagining & Looking Forward,” with Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, Sharon Stapel and Sujata Warrier, and moderated by Professor Julie Goldscheid, is now available on line for those who missed the event:

Announcement thanks to Donna Coker!

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Save the Date: 2015 ClassCrits Conference

We are very excited to announce that the University of Tennessee College of Law will host next year’s ClassCrits conference in Knoxville on Oct. 23-24, 2015, thanks to the leadership of UT Law Professors Lucy Jewel and Wendy Bach.   A call for papers will be issued later this winter, so stay tuned for more details and save the date for ClassCrits VIII.

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Register now for ClassCrits VII at UC Davis, Nov. 14 -15 2014 !

ClassCrits VII  Poverty, Precarity, & Work: Struggle & Solidarity in an Era of Permanent(?) Crisis

Friday, November 14 – Saturday, November 15, 2014

UC Davis School of Law
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, California 95616

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, President Johnson’s declaration of a “War on Poverty,” and the establishment of the first Neighborhood Legal Services Program pilot in Washington, D.C. Each of these initiatives attempted to address problems of structural economic inequality—problems that remain with us nationally and internationally . The seventh meeting of ClassCrits will focus on work, poverty, and resistance in an age of increasing economic insecurity.

Class Crits VIIIn law, it is generally easier to discuss “poverty” than to look deeply into its causes and incidents—including income and wealth inequality, the close interaction of class and race in America, and the connections between gender and economic hardship. It is also easier to discuss “poverty” than what some scholars call “precarity”—the increasing vulnerability of workers, even those above the official poverty line, to disaster. Precarity has both economic and political roots. Its economic sources include the casualization of labor, low wages, persistently high unemployment rates, inadequate social safety nets, and constant vulnerability to personal financial catastrophes. Its political sources include the success of neoliberal ideology, upward redistribution of wealth, increasing polarization and dysfunction in Congress, and the dependence of both political parties on a steady stream of big money. Precarity is also not limited to the United States, but is reshaping space around the globe. While the aftermath of the housing bubble and subsequent foreclosures drain home values across America and strip equity disproportionately from minority neighborhoods, in developing-country “megacities,” millions of slum-dwellers are displaced to make way for high-end residential and commercial real estate developments.

Finally, this conference focuses on challenging structural forms of inequality from a place of compassion and creating possibilities for resilience. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.” In this spirit, ClassCrits VII will explore the risks, uncertainty, and structural challenges of this period and discuss possibilities for shared goals and new forms of resistance.

The conference schedule is here.  All are welcome to attend.

Participants are also invited to attend the Poverty and Place Conference, which overlaps with this conference, organized by the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research.

Continue reading

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