American University Washington College of Law to Host Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference 

AUWCL to welcome over 550 law professors and scholars from across the globe March 21-24 for the largest gathering of minority legal scholars in U.S. history

March 13, 2019

NPOC19 graphic

As a champion of diversity and innovation in legal scholarship, American University Washington College of Law is proud to host the Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference (NPOC19): People of Color and the Future of Democracy, March 21-24.

Thirty-five law schools from across the country, LSAC, LSSSE, and other key partners will co-sponsor the conference. Prominent law reviews and journals published by the Association of American Law Schools, American, Columbia, Harvard, and New York Universities, as well as the University of Pennsylvania are serving as NPOC19 Publishing Partners and will publish many of the conference proceedings as well as individual papers.

With over 350 confirmed speakers, 110 conference events, and an expected attendance in excess of 550, NPOC19 promises to be the largest gathering of minority legal scholars and allies in American history. In addition to traditional plenary keynotes and concurrent panels and roundtables, the conference will host an intensive half-day conference-within-a-conference devoted exclusively to works-in-progress and thoughts-in-progress. NPOC19 also features an extensive pipeline track dedicated to providing advice, encouragement, and mentoring to pretenure professors and law faculty aspirants.

NPOC19’s scholarship program, made possible by the conference’s generous sponsors, is facilitating the participation of dozens of scholars at all career stages, as well as law faculty aspirants, whose institutional or personal financial circumstances would otherwise have prohibited their participation.

Although regional people of color legal scholarship conferences are typically hosted annually across the nation, the national POC legal scholarship conferences take place infrequently. The last one, the Third National, was hosted at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, NJ, in 2010.

“We are thrilled to welcome a large and diverse community of scholars to participate in NPOC19,” said Dean Camille Nelson, a professor of law with expertise in the criminal justice system and the intersection of critical race theory and cultural studies, who in 2016 became AUWCL’s first woman of color to be appointed Dean of American University Washington College of Law. “The conference will offer myriad sessions and gatherings to address the most compelling issues of scholarly and social interest to communities of color around the world, and we look forward to providing a welcoming home for this ground-breaking conference.”

AUWCL Professor Tony Varona chairs the AUWCL Host/Planning Committee for the conference and co-chairs its National Steering Council with Dean Adrien Wing from the University of Iowa College of Law.

“It has been a great honor to serve as the planning chair for NPOC19,” Varona said. “The conference’s success is the result of two years of hard work, creativity, and dedication by AUWCL faculty and senior staff colleagues across the law school, AUWCL students, and our twenty-five colleagues from law schools throughout the nation on the NPOC19 National Advisory Committee. Together, we planned a conference designed to feed the mind, heart, and soul of a large community of scholars that, at this moment especially, yearn for community, connection, and encouragement.”       

The event will include over 110 panels, roundtables, and colloquia, as well as a number of plenary keynote addresses and discussions featuring nationally prominent figures in law, legal and higher education, and policymaking, including:

  • Congressman Jamie Raskin, Chair of the House Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Oversight Subcommittee and Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Gold Star Father Khizr Khan, with introduction by former U.S. Army Secretary and AUWCL Professor Louis Caldera
  • Prof. Jerry Kang, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Hon. Catherine Lhamon, Chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights and former Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education
  • Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Ibram Kendi, National Book Award Winner
  • Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association
  • Woodie Dixon, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for the Pac-12 Conference
  • Jeff Whitney, Founder and President of The Sports & Entertainment Group
  • Sylvia Burwell, American University President and former Health & Human Services Secretary
  • Prof. Vicki C. Jackson, Harvard Law Professor and Association of American Law Schools President

A number of distinguished AUWCL faculty experts will be moderating panels and discussions throughout the conference, including Professor Jeremi Duru, one of the nation’s foremost sports law authorities, and Professor Angela J. Davis, editor of Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment.

The full conference agenda, including all panel discussions and renowned guest speakers, is available here.

Registration is required for all attendees. Registration and cost information for all participants is available here.

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