Watch a conversation on the dynamics of racism and inequality and the road ahead in 2021 with Candice Jones '07, president and CEO of the Public Welfare Foundation, and Professors Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Thompson, and Vincent Southerland.

About the Center

The Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law was created to confront the laws, policies, and practices that lead to the oppression and marginalization of people of color. We believe that the racism that permeates our present-day legal system has deep roots. By documenting the history of racism in America, elevating the stories of those affected by race-based inequality, and rigorously applying a racial lens to analyze unremitting disparities, we identify actionable, forward-looking solutions to address the injustices caused by racism. The Center is also committed to training the next generation of social justice advocates, and therefore serves as a resource to students and faculty alike to foster a healthy exchange of ideas on the ways in which race and inequality shape and inform the law. Read about our work in our most recent Annual Review. 

Our Latest Reports

Building Safe, Thriving Communities: Research-Based Strategies for Public Safety (PDF: 7.11 MB) lays out a new path for public safety that looks to the comprehensive, research-based strategies in policing, prosecution, and sentencing that elected and appointed leaders are using to move away from harsh carceral practices and respond to social and economic needs. These reforms illuminate a new vision of public safety that reduces our reliance on systems of enforcement and control while relying instead on research, collaboration, and community engagement—not incarceration—to build and support communities. Read the Foreword to the Report (PDF: 39.25 KB)

The Problem with Parole: New York's Failing System of Release details the racial disparities that  plague New York's parole hearing process, describes how current law fosters racial inequality and invites discriminatory parole release decision making, and makes policy recommendations to transform the parole system, putting redemption and rehabilitation first. 

Jason D. Williamson joins the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law as Executive Director

The Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law is proud to announce that Jason D. Williamson has joined as its new executive director. Mr. Williamson comes to NYU Law after serving as deputy director of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project. “Jason’s unwavering commitment to racial justice, wide range of litigation and advocacy experience, and sharp legal acumen make him ideal for this role,” said Professor Deborah Archer, the Center’s co-faculty director. “I look forward to his contributions to the Center’s work and continued success.” Mr. Williamson spent over a decade at the ACLU, where he focused primarily on Fourth Amendment, police practices, and public defense reform litigation.  Prior to his time at the ACLU, he worked as a litigation associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York, and served as a law clerk for Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. in the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Williamson began his legal career in New Orleans in the months following Hurricane Katrina, first as a staff attorney for the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, and later as a staff attorney and founding member of Juvenile Regional Services (now called the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights), which provides legal representation for indigent youth in Orleans Parish Juvenile Court.  A 2006 graduate of NYU Law, Mr. Williamson also serves as an adjunct clinical professor at the Law School.

Recent Center News, Work, and Events

Upcoming Event 

July 14, 2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Virtual Book Talk on Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women's Digital Resistance by Dr. Moya Bailey, Associate Professor of Communications, Northwestern University

Hosted by the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network, the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, the Black Allied Law Students Association; and Outlaw at NYU Law and the African American Policy Forum. Register here.

Support the People's Campaign for Parole Justice to transform New York's parole system

Op-ED: Derek Chauvin's sentence for murdering George Floyd won't stop police killings

Op-ED: The Racist Fearmongering Campaigns Against Bail Reform, Explained

Op-ED: Derek Chauvin's Guilty Verdict in George Floyd's Murder was an Exception. The Work Continues

Professor Deborah Archer provides a reminder of the need to reckon with race and racism 

Professor Deborah Archer describes how racism shaped America's interstate highways 

Where Do We Go From Here?: A Conversation About the Future of Race and Inequality in America (VIDEO): A conversation with Professors Deborah Archer, Anthony Thompson, and Vincent Southerland.

Examining Racial Inequality in the Criminal Legal System (VIDEO): Alexis Hoag '08 moderates a panel discussion.

Professor Deborah Archer named president of ACLU board of directors

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