Video: Equal Protection’s Grand Promise and Betrayals: Reconstruction, Plessy to Bakke and Beyond: Day 2

Video

February 19, 2021

Dr. powell was among four panelists in UNC School of Law’s Center for Civil Rights symposium speaking on equal protection jurisprudence from Reconstruction, Brown v. Board of Education, and beyond. Specifically, the symposium asked speakers to examine the “grand promises of equal protection” and how, given the current political and sociocultural moment, these promises will unfold in the coming decades. Alongside Mark Tushnet, Kimberly Robinson, and Gerald Torres, Dr. powell spoke about what it means to push the fight for equity forward. As part of this path, Dr. powell asked viewers to move past solely challenging the structures and systems that perpetuate white supremacy, and instead focus on defying supremacy and dominance writ large. Dr. powell explained that the nonexistence of a superior group is not simply an idea espoused in the Gettysburg Address or the Declaration of Independence, it is a concept enshrined in our Constitution and should undergird every judicial decision the Court makes. As such, he pushed viewers to consider the affirmative role that the legal system has in promoting a society without dominance, requiring both a broad-scale realignment of interests and identities as well as a need to rethink incrementalism.