by Ophelie Jacobson
The Roger Williams University School of Law recently announced it will be requiring a course on race and law in the upcoming fall semester as part of its second-year curriculum.
“Race & the Foundations of American Law” had been taught as an elective in the spring, but will now be a requirement starting next semester after its initial pilot phase.
The course will examine “the roles white supremacy and racial hierarchy play in current systems.” It will also “take a critical look at current anti-racist approaches and tactics and explore ways in which unjust/or discriminatory systems can be dismantled.”
The press release also states that it is a “novel course team-taught by three faculty members for the purpose of integrating these important topics into the larger law school curriculum.” Professors Diana Hassel, Nadiyah Humber, and Nicole Dyszlewski taught the elective in the spring.
RWU Law Dean Gregory W. Bowman said in the press release that requiring the course is “what is best for our students.” He went on to describe how “offering this course aligns perfectly with our institution’s larger social justice mission. It is something we needed to do, something transformative, something that will better equip our graduates to work within the legal system to create a world that is more equitable for all.
Professor Jared Goldstein the school’s Dean of Academic Affairs, added, “Since its inception, Roger Williams has been committed to preparing our students to confront the many challenges they’ll face as lawyers. A crucial ingredient in that training is for students to understand the role of the law in creating and sustaining existing power structures, including the inequitable distribution of power by race. Students who understand the connections between race and law will be better lawyers and better prepared to work for justice.”
Roger Williams University School of Law is the only law school in Rhode Island.
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Ophelie Jacobson is a Campus Reform reporter and a junior at the University of Florida, majoring in Journalism and Political Science and minoring in Spanish. She is also the Secretary of the Florida Federation of College Republicans and President of the Network of Enlightened Women at UF.
Photo “Dean Gregory Bowman” by Gregory Bowman and “Roger Williams University School of Law” is by RWU.