UNC students, faculty members, law school affiliates and practicing attorneys gathered for the Critical Race Theory Symposium at the UNC School of Law on Saturday.
Although a majority of Americans indicate that race relations are a problem, few people discuss consequences of racial inequalities, according to a poll by NBC News and SurveyMonkey. The symposium aimed to break this norm and increase understanding of how race, class and gender affect housing, environmental justice and health care.
The symposium, sponsored by the UNC School of Law's chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the Black Law Student Association, addressed these issues through lectures and breakout discussion sessions.
Part of the reason why certain racial and gender groups face discrimination in society is because of a cultural system which has historically favored conservative customs and norms, said Trina Jones a professor of law at Duke University School of Law.
“The law is inherently a conservative mechanism,” Jones said. “It brought some of the core concepts in law precedent, stare decisis – appealing to customs and norms. Customs and norms may penalize and incorporate the various stereotypes and tendencies that anti-discrimination law struggles with racial justice with trying to prove that.”