Mission Statement

The Task Force will examine how structural racism permeates and influences facets of daily life leading to injustice and inequality among New Yorkers. The Task Force will include six subcommittees – Criminal Justice, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Justice, Health, and Housing – that will examine the key issues that cause structural racism to be entrenched and persistent. These subcommittees will enable the Task Force to explore changes in the law and public policy and deliver a report recommending action steps the NYSBA can take to attack structural racism and effectuate meaningful societal transformation.

Questions for the Task Force? Please email [email protected]

Upcoming Informational Session

Task Force on Racism, Social Equity and The Law – Information Session #3
Monday, June 6, 2022, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.
Register here: https://nysba.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DYqf_A0MScy7Q19kOFyp0A

Press Releases & Articles

“The United States Has Paid Reparations for a Host of Issues. Why not Slavery?” (May 17, 2022) https://nysba.org/the-united-states-has-paid-reparations-for-a-host-of-issues-why-not-slavery/

“On Demand: Prominent District Attorneys Talk Reforming the System From the Inside Out” (January 28, 2022) https://nysba.org/on-demand-prominent-district-attorneys-talk-reforming-the-system-from-the-inside-out/

“We Can Do Both’ District Attorneys Weigh In on Fighting for Racial Justice and Against Gun Violence” (January 26, 2022) https://nysba.org/we-can-do-both-district-attorneys-weigh-in-on-fighting-for-racial-justice-and-against-gun-violence/

“Manhattan DA, Prosecutors Across the State To Address the Role of Their Offices in Connection With Criminal Justice Reform” (January 24, 2022) https://nysba.org/manhattan-da-prosecutors-across-the-state-to-address-the-role-of-their-offices-in-connection-with-criminal-justice-reform/

“NYSBA Task Force on Racism, Social Equity and the Law To Hold Public Forum on the Effect of Racism on Health Care, Economic Opportunities, and Environmental Justice” (December 13, 2021) https://nysba.org/nysba-task-force-on-racism-social-equity-and-the-law-to-hold-public-forum-on-the-effect-of-racism-on-health-care-economic-opportunities-and-environmental-justice/

“Speakers at NYSBA Forum Call Racism a Feature and Not a Failure of Critical American Systems” (October 26, 2021) https://nysba.org/speakers-at-nysba-forum-call-racism-a-feature-and-not-a-failure-of-critical-american-systems/

“NYSBA Task Force on Racism, Social Equity and the Law To Hold Its First Public Forum” (October 8, 2021) https://nysba.org/nysba-task-force-on-racism-social-equity-and-the-law-to-hold-its-first-public-forum/

“NYSBA Task Force to Address Racism, Social Equity and the Law” (September 16, 2021) https://nysba.org/nysba-task-force-to-address-racism-social-equity-and-the-law/

Recent Forums

Monday, May 16, 2022

Closing the Wealth Gap: Restitution, Reparations, and Other Remedies

Free, Non-CLE Forum and Informational Session

View the Recording of the Forum- https://vimeo.com/710832077

Program Description: The New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Racism, Social Equity, and the Law is charged with examining how structural racism permeates and influences facets of daily life leading to injustice and inequality among New Yorkers. Join the Task Force for a free, non-CLE public forum and panel discussion on the historical context of the racial wealth gap, how reparations to American descendants of African slaves can bridge the gap, and the budget-neutral forms such reparations could take.

Panelists

  • Dr. Thomas Craemer
    Associate Professor, School of Public Policy
    University of Connecticut
  • Dr. William A. Darity Jr.
    Samuel DuBois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy
    Duke University
  • Prof. Anthony Paul Farley
    James Campbell Matthews Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence
    Albany Law School
  • A. Kirsten Mullen
    Folklorist
    Founder, Artefactual
    Founder, Carolina Circuit Writers

Program Chairs

  • Tamika A. Coverdale, Esq.
  • Mirna Martinez Santiago, Esq.

Task Force Co-Chairs

  • Taa R. Grays, Esq.
  • Lillian M. Moy, Esq.

NYSBA President

  • T. Andrew Brown, Esq.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Informational Report to the NYSBA House of Delegates

Third Forum – Wednesday, January 26, 2022 – 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Prosecutors and the Color of Justice: The Role of the Prosecutor in Reforming the Criminal Justice System


(2.0 MCLE Credits— Free for NYSBA Members; $25 for non-members)

This public continuing legal education forum examined how district attorneys and their staff can be valuable partners in reforming the criminal justice system. The district attorneys discussed recent efforts to reform the criminal justice system, policies that have been implemented to address racial justice issues, and future initiatives designed to address racial injustices.

Moderator

  • Lucy Lang, Esq. – Inspector General, Office of the NYS Inspector General

Speakers

  • Alvin Bragg, Esq. – District Attorney of New York County
  • John J. Flynn, Esq. – District Attorney of Erie County
  • Eric Gonzalez, Esq. – District Attorney of Kings County
  • Mimi Rocah, Esq. – District Attorney of Westchester County

Second Forum – Monday, December 13, 2021 – 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Impact of Structural Racism: Overcoming Barriers to Housing, Economic, and Environmental Justice

Panelists addressed the interplay between structural racism and housing, economic opportunities, and environmental justice:

  • Professor Henry-Louis Taylor, Jr., professor with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo and director of the U.B. Center for Urban Studies, provided historical and contemporary analysis of factors affecting distressed urban neighborhoods, including social isolation and race and class issues among people of color; and,
  • Kartik Amarnath, policy specialist for PUSH Buffalo, a grassroots environmental justice organization in Buffalo, and a MD and MPH candidate at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, spoke on the intersection of systemic racism and environmental justice.

First Forum – Monday, October 25, 2021 – 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

How Structural Racism Built Today’s Education, Health and Economic Outcomes

Professor Paula C. Johnson, professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law, presented a brief history of structural racism in the United States and its impact on Black and Brown people in New York and across America. Discussants then addressed and responded to Professor Johnson’s keynote presentation: Professor Samuel K. Roberts, associate professor of history, sociomedical sciences, and African American studies at Columbia University, spoke on the interplay of structural racism and health care; Lourdes Zapata, president and CEO of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (“SoBRO”), spoke on barriers blocking access to economic opportunities; Dr. Daryll C. Dykes, professor and chief diversity office at SUNY Upstate Medical University and orthopedic surgeon at Upstate Orthopedics, spoke on efforts to foster diversity and inclusion within the public health sphere; and Jasmine Gripper, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, spoke on the intersection of systemic racism and education. President T. Andrew Brown made opening remarks.

The New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Racism, Social Equity, and the Law is charged with examining how structural racism permeates and influences facets of daily life leading to injustice and inequality among New Yorkers. Additional upcoming events will be announced soon!

NYSBA Task Force to Address Racism, Social Equity and the Law (September 16, 2021)

Committee Roster

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