TJSL Professors Marjorie Cohn and Kaimipono Wenger will be panelists on Friday, August 9, at a special event, “The Intersection of Race and Law: Response to Trayvon Martin Tragedy and Zimmerman Not Guilty Verdict.”
The panel discussion, sponsored by TJSL's Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the NAACP of San Diego and the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. at the San Diego Foundation Center for Civic Engagement, 2508 Historic Decatur Road, at Liberty Station. The public is invited.
The moderator will be Scott Lewis, the CEO for the Voice of San Diego and the other panelists will be NAACP of San Diego President Lei-Chala Wilson and The Executive Director of Federal Defenders, Reuben Cahn.
“This panel discussion will delve into some of the most critical issues raised by the trial of George Zimmerman, including the role race played in the trial, the jury instructions and what will happen next in this tragic case,” said Professor Cohn. "It’s important for the community to see future lawyers, attorneys and community organizations partnering together as a support system when grappling with sensitive subjects such as race," said Jillian Kates (2L), the President of BLSA at TJSL. "Courageous conversations are necessary to come together in understanding and formulate ways to heal in the aftermath of tragedy. As a law student I viewed organizing this event as my contribution to the broader conversation taking place nationwide. I encourage others to come and join the conversation."
According to the event’s organizers: “There are various issues to discuss including why the prosecution was not able to meet its burden of proof, views on whether mistakes were made at trial, backlash from the verdict, the potential federal civil rights action the NAACP has called for with its petition to the Department of Justice, gun laws and the role of racial bias in this tragic incident and the events that followed.
“Out of this tragic incident one positive thing might be the spark of consciousness that has encouraged many people to better understand the laws that affect them locally and to reexamine the ways racial bias plays out in everyday life. This event is meant to educate members of the community, bring clarity to key legal issues and offer participants an opportunity to get engaged in the San Diego community.”