Motley Speaker Series: Systemic Racism, Voting Rights, and American Democracy (EMS200825)

August 25, 2020

5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)


Access Recording


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

This 90-minute seminar draws on the experiences of legal academics, elected officials, and political observers to explain how certain fundamentals of our democracy are used to disenfranchise citizens – limiting who has political power, who exercises the right to vote, and who has a voice in our government institutions – on the basis of race. The seminar will explore the systems that perpetuate racial inequality in voting rights and political access: the history and dangerous effects of “gerrymandering”; the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was enacted to help achieve racial equality and representation; and how voter restriction and intimidation efforts accomplish racial disparities in the exercise of voting rights. The programming will look at historical patterns and trends, and how systemic racism impacts voting rights and political access on the national stage and in Connecticut.

You Will Learn

  • Historically how and why efforts to limit political access began and their effect on current political realities nationally and locally
  • How the disenfranchisement of voters supports systemic racism and limits the political power and voice of Black Americans and other people of color, including Latinos and Asian Americans
  • From people who are on the front line of these policy discussions, who have witnessed and studied how policies designed to disenfranchise citizens sway campaigns and impact the creation of laws and access to justice
  • What we, as citizens and legal practitioners, should know and do to promote a truly fair and free electoral democracy in our communities

Who Should Attend

Any attorney interested in dismantling systemic racism and learning more how restricting millions of American citizens from being able to fully participate in our political process enables those systems.


(Includes electronic materials)

You may submit a question for the speakers in advance of the webinar using the button below.

Submit a Question


jahana hayes Jahana Hayes
United States Representative, representing Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District, Washington DC

douglas spencer Douglas M. Spencer
University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford

m. saud anwar Saud Anwar, MD
Connecticut State Senator, representing the Third State Senatorial District, Hartford


duby mcdowell Duby McDowell
McDowell Communications Group, Hartford

CLE Credit

CT: 1.5 CLE Credits (Ethics)

* Electronic materials are included in the price of the seminar. Any materials for this seminar will be e-mailed to registrants prior to the seminar for download. No paper copies will be provided. If the seminar is recorded, all registrants will receive complimentary access to the recording approximately six weeks after the program.


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