From #BlackLivesMatter to the Supreme Court, issues of race, segregation, inequality, the legacy of slavery, and who belongs to America and who America belongs to, is as salient today as it was 50 years ago.
The 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report on Civil Disorders falls on March 1, 2018, less than a year and a half from now. The 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act occurs two months after that, along with the sesquicentennial of the 14th Amendment.
The Haas Institute is organizing a national conference to be held on February 27-March 1, 2018 to commemorate and investigate the Commission and its contemporary significance.
We are in the midst of a re-awakened awareness of the extent of racial segregation, inequality, and police brutality and violence, the precise themes and areas of inquiry of the Commission. Appropriately, the Kerner Commission has received renewed attention of late, including citation by the Supreme Court in its decision upholding the use of disparate impact claims in fair housing cases.
Keeping discussion of these issues alive is the Movement for Black Lives, as well as ongoing protests on college campuses, state capitols, and elsewhere over monuments and legacies of slavery and segregation.
Our 50th anniversary conference will not only examine the history, legacy, successes and failures of the commission, as well as its findings and analysis, but envision what a contemporary Kerner Commission report might look like. From leading scholars in relevant fields and disciplines, as well as several staff members of the original commission, we are calling for papers to be compiled into a landmark retrospective yet deeply relevant contemporary report on race in American society.
The conference will be hosted at the University of California in Berkeley, but we anticipate satellite locations elsewhere, including Washington, D.C. If you are able to accept our invitation to present, we will take your availability into account in making more specific plans.
Date: February 27 - March 1, 2018
Location: Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley
Registration will be announced soon on this page and through our mailing list. For more information and updates, search #Kerner50 on social media, and sign up for the mailing list below.