Rutgers announces two new centers on civil rights and immigration

Rutgers Law School has announced the opening of two new academic centers, one for Security, Race and Rights; the other for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice.

Professor Sahar Aziz, a Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar, is launching the Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights, which will examine civil rights law and policy that disproportionately affect Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities in the United States through an interdisciplinary and cross-community approach. She already has planned a fall lunchtime series looking at issues of Islamophobia.

Aziz, who joined the law school a year ago, is an expert in the Middle East, national security, race, and civil rights and is a widely sought-after media spokesperson.

“A lack of knowledge about the diverse Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities in the U.S., as well as Muslim-majority countries, has resulted in entrenched, negative stereotypes and widespread prejudice against these communities,” she said. “The Center for Security, Race and Rights engages in research, education, and advocacy to counter discrimination and preserve civil rights for racial and religious minorities.”

Professor Rose Cuison Villazor, another Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar, is starting the Center for Immigration Law, Policy, and Justice.

The Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice (CILJP)’s mission is to advance equitable and more inclusive immigration and citizenship laws, policies and practices. The CILJP will host a “Colloquium on Sanctuary” speaker series in the fall semester where scholars, advocates and students will explore the legal, political and ethical meaning of providing “sanctuary” to immigrants. In the spring, the CILJP will launch a “Citizenship Initiative” to assist legal permanent residents in their application for naturalization.

“Immigration is one of the most critical and compelling issues of our time. Through interdisciplinary scholarship, legal and policy and initiatives and public engagement, the CILJP seeks to support the passage of progressive immigration and citizenship laws.”

Villazor, who joined Rutgers Law this fall semester, is an expert in immigration, citizenship, property law and race and the law.

The two centers will be the newest in the law school’s tradition of promoting academic centers. Other academic centers at Rutgers Law School include: The Center for Corporate Law and Governance, the Center for Gender, Sexuality, Law & Policy, the Center for Government Compliance and Ethics, the Center for Law, Inequality & Metropolitan Equity, the Center for Risk and Responsibility, the Center for State Constitutional Studies, the Center for State Health Policy, the Institute for Information Policy & Law, and the Institute for Law & Philosophy.

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