Past Activities

Fall Community Service:

Members of the Forum spent an afternoon at the Durham Rescue Mission’s thrift store, organizing, and cleaning.

Fall Town Hall Forum:

Brought community members together to discuss the proposed federal Health Care Reform.

Symposium, Feb. 13, 2009: Moving Education Forward: Perspectives and Innovations in Education Law and Policy

Inequalities in education are unfortunately pervasive throughout American history. Some of the issues and challenges surrounding educational inequality have been rapidly changing while many others have remained stagnant. This symposium’s discussion highlights the history of these challenges and also presents suggestions for moving policy forward. The symposium features Professor Olatunde Johnson, of Columbia Law School; Professor Irene Ayers, of New York University School of Law; Professor Kristi Bowman, Michigan State University; Professor Wendy Scott, North Carolina Central University; Professor John Garvey, Franklin Pierce Law Center; Professor Andi Curcio, Georgia State Law School; and Rufus Williams, then-President of Chicago Public Schools.

Forum Town Hall, Jan. 27, 2009

The Forum Town Hall will tackle the issues of school violence in secondary and post-secondary education. This discussion, which takes places in light of the shootings at Virginia Tech, Columbine, and other schools, will take place Jan. 27, 2009 at 12:15 p.m. in Room 3037.

“What Does the 2008 Election Mean for America?” Forum Town Hall, Nov. 12, 2008

The 2008 election broke many barriers toward equality: the first Latino nominee for candidate of a major party, the first prominent female candidate, the second female vice-Presidential candidate of a major party, and the first African-American President. For some, however, the election is seen as a symbol of inequality. Two states, California and Florida, voted to amend their Constitutions to prohibit gay marriage, while Arkansas voted to prohibit child adoption by gay couples. So the question we ask is: What Does the 2008 election mean for America?

Symposium, March 27, 2008: Remembering Brown v. Board of Education

Experts examine Brown v. Board of Education, including what it took to enact the decision, how that has impacted education in the United States, and what the future holds for the landmark decision. The Brown Discussion features Historian John Hope Franklin, Judge Louis Pollak, Professor Jack Greenberg, and is hosted by Professors Neil S. Siegel and Charles Clotfelter.

What Role Should Race Play in Education?, Forum Town Hall, March 4, 2008

In 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that the doctrine of separate but equal is an Equal Protection violation in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. Now, half a century later the Supreme Court is split over the meaning of Brown. In the Grutter and Gratz Michigan cases, the court divisively held that race can be used as a factor in admissions but only in conjunction with other factors. The court then held in Parents Involved that race cannot be singled out for integrating schools, but once again can be considered among other factors if narrowly tailored.

Some say these decisions have kept with the original meaning of Brown, while others argue Brown has been effectively overruled. What is the role race should play in education? Is it still necessary to use race, and if not, what other methods should be used to accomplish the goals of school systems around the country?