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Implicit Bias Resources

By Sara Jackson There is a wealth of literature available on implicit bias, and articles on the subject appear almost daily. The following is a non-exhaustive list of video, web, and print resources, some of which we used or referenced at our March 12 event. Videos Immaculate Perception?—Jerry Kang Ted Talk How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Towards Them—Verna Myers Ted Talk How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race—J Smooth Ted Talk American Denial—Independent Lens film on Implicit Bias Online Resources Project Implicit ABA Spotlight on Implicit Bias Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity: Understanding Implicit Bias Academic Articles Implicit Bias: A Primer for the Courts—Jerry Kang State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review—Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Trojan Horses of Race—Jerry Kang, 118 Harvard Law Review 1489 (2005) (Professor Kang’s original law review article on implicit bias and the Implicit Association Test) Implicit Bias in the Courtroom—Jerry Kang, et al., 59 UCLA Law Review 1124 (2012) The Id, The Ego and Equal Protection in the 21st Century: Building on Charles Lawrence’s Vision to Mount a Contemporary Challenge to the Intent Doctrine—Eva Paterson, Kimberly Thomas-Rapp & Sara Jackson, 40 Conn. L. Rev. 1175 (2008) (examines where implicit bias plays out in society and in the law, and discussed inroads for updating our jurisprudence to reflect modern social science) Recent News Coverage Is Everyone Just a Little Bit Racist?—Nicholas Kristof, New York Times Across America, Whites Are biased and They Don’t Even Know It—Chris Mooney, Washington Post When Talking About Bias Backfires—Adam Grant & Sheryl Sandberg, New York Times Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People —Matthew Hutson, Washington Post Sara Jackson is a member of our Board of Directors. By day, she is Pro Bono Coordinator at Georgetown Law's Office of Public Interest and Community Service.

Racial Justice Update: The DOJ Ferguson Report

By Greg Lipper At the first installment in our Racial Justice Series, we talked about racism, recent events in Ferguson and elsewhere, and how lawyers can address these issues. This week, lawyers at the DOJ Civil Rights Division issued a lengthy, scathing report on law-enforcement practices in Ferguson. We’ve collected a variety of links to coverage of the report and its implications for the legal system: Release of the Report Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department – DOJ Civil Rights Division Ferguson Police Tainted by Bias, Justice Department Says – N.Y. Times The Gangsters of Ferguson – Ta-Nahisi Coates/The Atlantic Reactions in Ferguson… and Beyond Silence in Ferguson, and Defiance Elsewhere, In Wake of DOJ Report – St. Louis Post-Dispatch Ferguson Mayor Says Scathing DOJ Report ‘Not Proof’ of Widespread Abuses – St. Louis Post-Dispatch The Problem Is Way Bigger Than Ferguson, Justice Department Report Reveals – Huffington Post Ferguson’s Neighbors In St. Louis County Greet Damning DOJ Report With A Shrug – Huffington Post Reforming Ferguson Law Enforcement Policing Task Force Recommends Body Cams, Better Reporting, More Sleep For Officers – Huffington Post Some in Ferguson Who Are Part of Problem Are Asked to Help Solve It – N.Y. Times After the Justice Department Report, What’s Next for Ferguson? – Washington Post The Federal Government Probably Won’t Dismantle the Ferguson Police. That’s a Good Thing – Vox The Ferguson Court System Nixon calls for improving Missouri courts after DOJ report on Ferguson – St. Louis Public Radio Two Police Officers, Court Clerk Out at Ferguson Over Racist Emails – St. Louis Post-Dispatch Ferguson Judge Behind Aggressive Fines Policy Owes $170,000 in Unpaid Taxes – The Guardian Greg Lipper is our Communications Director. By day, he is a litigator at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. You can follow him on Twitter at @theglipper.

Photo: Racial Justice Panelists

Racial Justice Recap: Ferguson, and the Need for Authentic Discussion About Racism

By Robin Murphy The recent killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamar Rice illustrate the continuing need for lawyers to commit time and energy to eradicate discrimination and violence against people of color and build an inclusive society that enables everyone to succeed. In the first installment of our Racial Justice Series, which we are cosponsoring with the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, we examined the events in Ferguson and explored how to address ongoing racism in the justice system. The panel was moderated by Camille Holmes, Director of Leadership and Racial Equity at the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. Each of the panelists brought has significant experience and expertise in the areas of civil rights and racial justice, and each brought unique perspectives to the discussion. Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby (DC Court of Appeals) described the need for all participants in a democracy to be informed and engaged. She recounted how racism is imbedded in our justice system, dating back to the Constitution’s Three-Fifths Clause and the Supreme Court decisions in Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson. Judge Blackburne-Rigsby also shared her recent experience with the DC judiciary, as judges examined their own implicit biases and discovered the need for greater self-examination. Nicole Austin-Hillery (Brennan Center for Justice) likewise explained how many discriminatory policies are rooted in law, pointing to the disproportionate representation of black males in our prisons and the severe collateral consequences of a criminal conviction – such as the loss of the right to vote, to public housing and access to student loans. She added some good news: there is true reform occurring on Capitol Hill, with several bipartisan bills seeking to reform prison and sentencing. Georgetown Law professor Anthony Cook urged participants not only to think about the traditional roles of lawyers, but also to be disruptive. He pointed to the effectiveness of recent demonstrations around the country – including at Georgetown Law – such as die ins, teach ins, and black-lives-matter demonstrations. These and other efforts are essential to what he described as “bias interruption" – stopping bias from harming people of color. Each panelist stressed the need for more authentic and honest conversations about race and racism. The panel ended with an invitation to each attendee to choose an action that could advance that conversation – from understanding our own implicit biases to interrupting that bias to engaging in analysis and multi-layered strategies to address the structural system of racism. You can get more detail about the panel – including tweets, photos, and links to many of the cases, events, and studies discussed – by checking out our Storify of the event. We’ll be scrutinizing the concept of implicit bias at the next installment in our Racial Justices Series. This event – Below the Surface: Exploring Implicit Bias in Ourselves and the Legal System – is a hands-on workshop exploring implicit bias and how it may impact your practice, your workplace, and the legal system. Robin Murphy is a member of our Board of Directors. By day, she is a lawyer at the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

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