After the police killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, Dickinson Law Dean Danielle Conway says she felt haunted by two sets of images.
One was a collage of dozens of black law deans commemorating the John Mercer Langston Legal Education Awards. The other set of images were the faces of black people killed by the police. “I couldn’t get away from the comparison. … That’s when I said I’m moved. I have to do something with this image, because but for one instance or one event with police, we could be in the other collage.”
Conway’s determination to take action helped to spur the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project, a five-phase plan announced on June 11 to mobilize law schools and their communities in the fight for racial equality. The project is led by five black women law deans: Conway; Angela Onwuachi-Willig of Boston University School of Law; Kim Mutcherson of Rutgers Law School; Carla Pratt of Washburn University School of Law; and Danielle Holley-Walker of Howard University School of Law.
On this Legal Speak podcast, Law.com legal education editor Karen Sloan talks with Conway and Onwuachi-Willig about the initiative, the change they want to see in the legal academy and the work ahead.
“As we’re thinking about what’s the work that our students and that we are going to do outside our doors, we should really be thinking about what are we doing inside of our doors and how are we reflecting racial equality and racial justice within our walls,” Onwuachi-Willig said.