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.

The Center envisions a world in which laws, policies, and legal practices are applied fairly and equitably to all people. This will be achieved as:

  • Communities of color transform racial narratives and are active contributors in the movement toward racial equity in the legal system;
  • A fundamental component of legal education in the United States is understanding the law through the lens of race and inequality;
  • Legal practitioners, policymakers, teachers, advocates, and the public are catalyzed to combat institutional racism and work to create a fair and equitable legal system; and
  • Inequitable laws, policies, and practices are challenged and reformed or abolished as a result of legal action, advocacy, research, and training.

In keeping with the Center's mission and methods, our work includes:

  • Convening public conversations on the intersection of race, inequality, and contemporary concerns
  • Engaging the NYU Law and broader NYU community on issues of race and inequality
  • Examining the role of race and inequality on the exercise of discretion in the criminal legal system
  • Training actors in the criminal legal system--including prosecutors and defense attorneys--to engage a racial justice lens 
  • Examining the role of technology as a means to advance social and racial justice
  • Addressing the ways in which race and inequality drive segregation and the concentration of poverty
  • Publishing op-eds, reports, and various educational materials
  • Providing technical assistance to organizations and advocates to address issues of race and inequality in their work

Read Our 2018-2019 Annual Review Here! (PDF)