Tuesday, September 14, 2010

National People of Color Conference Concludes

The Third National People of Color Conference, Our Country Our World in a "Post-Racial" Era,  has just concluded.  Hosted superbly by Seton Hall Law School and organized by Professor Solangel Maldonado and the National Steering Committee, the conference brought together over five hundred law and law related academics.  The Conference had as its goal to 

address critical national and global issues through the lens of legal scholarship that explicitly and implicitly examines contemporary racial context. It will feature panels on the “war on terror,” urban revitalization, criminal law, health care, education, immigration, human trafficking, voting rights, international and comparative law, judicial nominations, environmental justice, and corporate responsibility, among others. It will also include a Junior Faculty and Development Workshop and a Pipeline Program for lawyers interested in entering the legal academy. A media plenary session will explore the meaning of a “post-racial” society and its relevance to legal scholarship and teaching.  Third National People of Color Conference, Our Country Our World in a "Post-Racial" Era?, Homepage.
Speakers included, 
Honorable Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment
Professor Derrick Bell, Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law
The Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Gay McDougall, United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues
Keith Harper, former Appellate Justice of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. was a special guest speaker on Friday, September 10, 2010. The program was broad and may be accessed here.     

My own paper, Not Their Master's Tools: Transnational Corporate Governance and Anti-Subordination Strategies Among Communities of Color, was presented as part of a panel entitled: Critical Race Corporate Governance in a Domestic and Transnational Environment. The abstract follows:
Paper Abstract: That political communities are vertically ordered is well known, as is the resulting structure of exploitation and subordination. This vertical ordering has been reproduced in the elaboration of a global system of economic organization understood as globalization. As a consequence, economic, social, cultural and religious communities, like the states with which they interact, also tend to replicate this pattern of organization. The ideology of subordination is deeply embedded in global culture; it is exploited as effectively by communities of color against each other as it is deployed against communities of color by developed states. Yet that ideology might also be characterized as irrational. It can be argued that at the transnational level, corporations have failed to act rationally with respect to a global population that is overwhelmingly composed of communities of color, communities of color that have been traditionally exploited or ignored by both economic entities and the governments seeking to impose global order on transnational actors and markets. Political efforts to reduce discrimination and subordination at the global level have been discouraging. But emerging systems of global soft law may provide a basis for attaining a greater measure of racial and ethnic justice. This paper examines how international civil society actors are beginning to use instruments of soft law corporate governance to attack discrimination and subordination of communities of color by economic actors and others a variety of contexts. The paper’s thesis follows: the power to affect the relationships between communities of color and global economic actors may prove a more powerful force for change than those targeting traditional nation-states or the global state-law system.
The manuscript will be posted to the Social Science Research Network in a few days.

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