CONTACT: Jennifer Shotz
Public Information Officer
Columbia Law School


When: Tuesday, February 27, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Columbia Law School
William and June Warren Hall
(115th and Amsterdam Ave)
Room L107

What: Disparities in Black Wealth/White Wealth: What Can Be Done?
This conference will focus on disparities in wealth, rather than income, 
between black Americans, other Americans of color, and
white Americans.

Columbia Law School Professor Kendall Thomas will moderate a panel of 
activist scholars and lawyers, who will address the
legal, social, and political causes of this gap and consider a variety of 
legal strategies that may make a difference. Melvin L.
Oliver, vice president for asset building and community development at the 
Ford Foundation, will provide the foundational
information based upon his book Black Wealth, White Wealth: A New 
Perspective on Racial Inequality, which argues that an
analysis of wealth -- total assets and debts rather than income alone -- 
uncovers a qualitatively different story about race in
America. Professor Thomas Mitchell of the University of Wisconsin Law School 
will speak about clinics that provide legal
education and direct legal services to minority farmers and landowners who 
have experienced severe land loss, a root cause of
wealth inequality. Professor Mitchell just published a law review in the 
Northwestern University Law Review entitled "From Reconstruction to 
Deconstruction: Undermining Black Land Ownership, Political Independence, 
and Community Through Partition Sales of Tenancies in Common (Heir 
Property)". Ted Shaw of the NAACP LDF will speak about a new reparations 
class-action suit being developed by
members of the Reparations Assessment Group, which some have hailed as the 
most serious effort yet to get American blacks
compensated for 244 years of legalized slavery. Darren Walker, chief 
operating officer of the Abyssinian Development
Corporation, will speak about community economic development work in Harlem 
and other minority communities.

For more information, please contact the Center for Public Interest Law at 
(212) 854-6158.

This event is co-presented by the Civil Rights Law Society and co-sponsored 
by BALSA and the Society of Law and Ideas.

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