Northeastern launches a new Center for Law, Equity and Race


The Northeastern University School of Law has announced the launch of a new Center for Law, Equity and Race (CLEAR). The school is using two of its nationally-recognized programs to spearhead the effort: the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project and the Criminal Justice Task Force. The CRRJ is led by professor Margaret Burnham, while the CJTF is led by professor Deborah Ramirez.

“The Center on Law, Equity and Race will play a key leadership role in our continuing engagement not only in important academic research and pedagogy, but we also in collaborating with external communities on projects designed to enhance access to justice, racial equity and reform,” said Dean James Hackney.

The sub-disciplines of CLEAR are designed with one common goal: to build from historical memory and work to address the racial injuries of the past through the use of law, teaching, techniques of restorative justice and community partnerships.

One of the first projects CLEAR will be working on is the launch of the Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants Access to justice Fellowship, which is a joint venture with the Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Bar Foundation. Chief Justice Gants was a champion of equity, diversity and inclusion, and the fellowship will provide $6,000 stipends to students who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ or as having a disability.

“CLEAR will focus on identifying and addressing the problems that create racial inequities in our justice systems,” said Deborah Ramirez, co-director of CLEAR and director of the associated Criminal Justice Task Force. “We will focus on improving access to justice and racial equity by making the justice systems fairer and more just. In this way, through the Access to Justice Fellowship we are building on Ralph’s legacy and his most important work.”

CLEAR also supports four other racial justice faculty fellowships with the goal of encouraging faculty research and scholarship on racial justice and structural racism issues.

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