EP01 Motley Speaker Series | The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2021CLC)

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)

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The Constance Baker Motley Speaker Series on Racial Inequality is presented by the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee, in collaboration and co-sponsorship with the Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF) and James W. Cooper Fellows

About the Program

Join us for the Constance Baker Motley Speaker Series on Racial Inequality year one summative event. Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the US and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems. We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregate neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto—the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights. The Color of Law demonstrates, however, that residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-twentieth century that openly subsidized whites-only suburbanization in which African Americans were prohibited from participating. Only after learning the history of this policy can we be prepared to undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape. 

Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson will facilitate a question and answer segment with Rothstein. A panel discussion, featuring Connecticut leaders in police accountability, housing desegregation, and political access, will follow to highlight what has been done in the past year and how we will continue to address racial inequality in Connecticut in honor of the legacy of Hon. Constance Baker Motley. 

Richard Rothstein is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, a New York Times Best Seller, and a distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute, the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and of the Haas Institute at the University of California (Berkeley). In addition to The Color of Law, he is the author of many other articles and books on race and education.

You Will Learn

  • How government policies promoted segregation
  • How data shows the biased impact of laws and policies
  • About the CBA Policing Task Force's year-long study and resulting recommendations on issues of policing in Connecticut
  • How zoning supports segregation in Connecticut and the progress we have made in addressing contributing law and policies
  • How racially and ethnically diverse communities continue to experience challenges to full political inclusion 

Who Should Attend

Any attorney interested in eliminating bias in laws and policies. 

Note: The first 100 attendees of this plenary who request a copy of featured speaker Richard Rothstein's book, The Color of Law, will receive a free copy.

Not attending the conference? Visit ctbar.org/Motley-Series to register to attend.

Richard Rothstein's portion of the plenary will not be recorded. The panel discussion will be recorded.

CLE Credit

2.0 CT (Ethics)


richard rothstein Richard Rothstein
Economic Policy Institute, Washington, DC

Sara Bronin Sara C. Bronin
UConn School of Law, Hartford

Khalilah Brown-Dean Khalilah L. Brown-Dean
Quinnipiac University, Hamden

Deirdre Daly Deirdre M. Daly
Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, Stamford

Constance Royster Constance L. Royster
Laurel Associates LLC, Bethany


Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson
Connecticut Supreme Court, Hartford

Joel Motley Joel W. Motley
Public Capital Advisors LLC, Scarborough, NY