Kendra Brown, Nicole Austin-Hillery, Dean Camille Nelson, and Wade Henderson.

AUWCL Honors Black History Month with a Conversation with Wade Henderson and Nicole Austin-Hillery 

Feb. 22, 2018

On Monday, Feb. 19, the law school honored Black History Month by holding a conversation with Wade Henderson, former president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Nicole Austin-Hillery, former director and counsel of the Brennan Center for Justice in Washington, D.C., entitled, “The Long Road.” The event, in partnership with the American University Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program, brought together faculty, staff, and students for a conversation about inequality and its impact on our nation and the globe. 

In her remarks, Dean Camille Nelson quoted Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who recognized that the need to commemorate Black History was tethered to whether America “would willingly recognize the contributions of black Americans as a legitimate and integral part of the history of this country.” 

The conversation touched on many topics including the historical context of racial inequities in the United States, mass incarceration, safeguarding the social safety net, the School to Prison Pipeline and inequity in education, the wealth gap, attacks on the constitutionally protected right to vote, the role of advocates, and the importance of the equal application of the law. 

“We have to understand that the road towards equity and inclusion is a long road filled with lessons and situations that foster progress and move us forward," said Kendra Brown, senior director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, who organized the event. "In order to fully understand what lies ahead we must understand, know and embrace our history, and conversations such as these help to illuminate how past lessons inform current struggles.”