Review of Law & Social Change symposium examines the role of corporations in promoting progressive ideals

On Friday, February 4, the NYU Review of Law & Social Change brought together guest speakers from two continents for a symposium examining the role of corporations in promoting progressive ideals. "From Page to Practice: Corporations as Progressive Actors" was the second in the Review’s Page to Practice series, which leverages symposia to bridge the gaps that so often separate lawyers from non-lawyers, academics from practitioners, and theorists from activists.

Commissioner Chai Feldblum of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission opened the event with an inspirational review of some of corporations’ promising accomplishments, and an appeal to progressive lawyers and corporations to continue to collaborate on important goals.

Panels were moderated by Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, Florencia Marotta-Wurgler '01, Professor of Law, and Yolanda Wu, co-founder and co-president of A Better Balance: The Work & Family Legal Center, and adjunct professor of law. The first panel, “Corporations and Workers,” focused on the role that corporations play as employers. Speakers reviewed developments in this area and reflected on ways in which corporations and employees can work together to improve workplace diversity, equal opportunity, and workers’ quality of life. The second panel, “Corporations and Consumers,” addressed the relationship between corporations and consumers. The final panel of the day, “Corporations in Global Markets,” explored the particular challenges and opportunities presented by transnational corporations, and included Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law Cynthia Estlund extracting lessons for activists from the successes, failures, and challenges of the anti-sweatshop movement.

Watch panel one, "Corporations and Workers" (1 hr 32 min):

Watch panel two, "Corporations and Consumers" (1 hr 20 min):

Watch panel three, "Corporations in Global Markets," on YouTube.

Watch the keynote address by Chai Feldblum on YouTube.

Posted February 15, 2011