Dean Matthew Diller headshot
Dean Matthew Diller
We are all too familiar with the pattern. Another fatal encounter involving the police. Footage from iPhones shakily held by bystanders. Furious tweets and hashtags in our feeds. All of this gives us pause at first and then leads us to grieve, reflect, and demand action. But this time is different. The national awakening around race has led to a historic public expression of protest for equality and an end to systemic racism.

Ultimately, to achieve real, lasting changes, we need to go beyond the tweets, hashtags, and slogans. In this respect, law schools have a special and important responsibility. Legal scholars have the luxury of thinking deeply about legal issues of the moment for extended periods of time. To effectively address the serious problems of systemic racism and violence against Black Americans, we must gain an understanding of how and why we ended up here, and we must have a vision for a better world.

The three Fordham Law scholars featured here have been writing about race and the law for years, offering invaluable insights about the significance of race in many different aspects of our world. They each do so in their own distinctive and thought-provoking ways. Professor Bennett Capers takes the “text” of American legal culture and not only repeatedly offers striking and fresh readings but also expands the horizon of possible futures when it comes to criminal law and criminal procedure. Professor Kimani Paul-Emile works at the intersection of race and health, illuminating another corner of our society where Black lives are routinely and systematically devalued. Professor Catherine Powell closely studies the ways in which our political discourse is manipulated to confer insider and outsider statuses to different groups, with predictably tragic and disastrous consequences all too often.

In these pages, you will read excerpts of the work of each of these scholars, along with probing conversations led by Professor Youngjae Lee, our associate dean of research. Their dialogues are fascinating portals into their worldviews that continually generate penetrating insights, add to our knowledge, and guide us toward the steps forward in the face of daunting social challenges.

The content of this journal represents just a small sample of our faculty’s work. Please visit our website to learn more about the work of all of our professors, as well as our renowned student-edited journals, which are among the most cited in the country.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the Faculty Spotlight Journal and see for yourself how Fordham Law scholarship is making an impact throughout the legal profession and beyond.

Matthew Diller signature

Matthew Diller
Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law