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Legal Studies Statement

The faculty and staff of the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the Department of African American Studies and echoes their call for a prompt and meaningful official response to the concerns expressed in their Oct. 15 and Oct. 20 letters. Students, staff, and faculty deserve to live, study, work, teach, and research on a campus that is committed to equity and fairness, and we stand with the students, staff, and faculty who are working to make Northwestern such a place.

In our Legal Studies courses, we ask students to consider the relationship between institutional power and the community it governs by examining the role of formal legal institutions, exploring elite and grassroots action in pushing for legal and institutional reform, critiquing the use of facially neutral language to obscure deeply discriminatory policy, revealing the way discretion can be used and abused, and confronting the difficulty of holding authorities accountable. Our own campus institutions are not and should not be immune from this analysis. We ask the university to take seriously concerns about racial bias, to actively engage with those calling for reform, and to commit to making Northwestern a place that values many voices and perspectives.

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