Category Archives: Race

News Article: “Study: D.C. gentrification can cause pockets of poverty to grow, especially east of Anacostia River”

News Article: Paul Duggan, “Study: D.C. gentrification can cause pockets of poverty to grow, especially east of Anacostia River,” Washington Post, Nov. 23, 2016.

Article: “The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform”

Article: “HMDA, Housing Segregation, and Racial Disparities in Mortgage Lending”

Article: Charles M. Lamb,”HMDA, Housing Segregation, and Racial Disparities in Mortgage Lending,” State University of New York at Buffalo (July 2015).

Housing segregation and discrimination remain tenacious problems in America. This Article first explores the passage of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) of 1975 and its 1989 amendments in order to clarify their objectives and requirements for providing data to the public that potentially may be used to combat redlining and lending discrimination in the nation’s housing market. Given this background, this Article then relies on HMDA data to investigate the following question: Are racial minorities in America’s largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) more likely to receive government-insured mortgages rather than conventional mortgages if they reside in more segregated metropolitan areas?

The analysis indicates that housing segregation has a significant negative effect on African Americans’ ability to receive conventional mortgages, thereby distinguishing them from Asians, Hispanics, and whites. If African Americans are unlikely to receive conventional mortgages in more segregated areas, this suggests that in the future, highly segregated MSAs are likely to remain segregated along black-white lines and that African Americans will continue to be the mast segregated racial group in the country. Based on this analysis, the Article concludes that HMDA should be amended to require additional data from commercial banks in order to determine the extent to which lending discrimination is occurring and thus perpetuating-and possibly even increasing-housing segregation in the United States. At minimum this data should include such basic information as applicants’ total financial assets, credit scores and history, number of dependents, value of the property to be purchased, and size of down payments required Banks routinely collect this data during the mortgage application process, so it should be relatively easy to include in their lending disclosure forms.


News Article: “White D.C. Area Households Have A Net Worth 81 Times Greater Than Black Ones”

News Article: Andrew Giambrone, “White D.C. Area Households Have A Net Worth 81 Times Greater Than Black Ones,” Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2016.

Symposium: “Policing the Police and the Community”

Symposium: “Policing the Police and the Community,” at Seton Hall University (2015)
Christina Swarns, ““I Can’t Breathe”: A Century Old Call for Justice,” 46 Seton Hall L. Rev. art. 1 (2016).

Udi Ofer, “Getting It Right: Building Effective Civilian Review Boards to Oversee Police,” 46 Seton Hall L. Rev. art. 2 (2016). 

Cynthia H. Conti-Cook, Defending the Public: Police Accountability in the Courtroom, 46 Seton Hall L. Rev. art. 3 (2016).

News Article: “How the LSAT Destroys Socioeconomic Diversity”

News Article: Caroline Kitchener, “How the LSAT Destroys Socioeconomic Diversity,” The Atlantic, Oct. 18, 2016.

Podcast: “The Problem We All Live With”

Podcast: “The Problem We All Live With,” This American Life (July/August 2015). Includes part one and part two [about a desegregation program in one of the most segregated school districts in the United States].

News Article: “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City”

News Article: Nikole Hannah-Jones, “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City,” New York Times, June 9, 2016.

Article: “‘Just Another Little Black Boy from the South Side of Chicago’: Overcoming Obstacles and Breaking Down Barriers to Improve Diversity in the Law Professoriate”

Article: Michael Z. Green, “‘Just Another Little Black Boy from the South Side of Chicago’: Overcoming Obstacles and Breaking Down Barriers to Improve Diversity in the Law Professoriate,” 31 Colum. J. Gender & L. 135 (2015).

As I reflected on my personal experience to help address the persistence of discrimination in legal academia, I chose to focus on five areas of discussion for the open mic portion of the program held at the Association of American Law Schools Cross-Cutting Program, “The More Things Change…: Exploring Solutions to Persistent Discrimination in Legal Academia,” held on January 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. First, I decided to address my personal development as an only child and male in a family of mostly black women struggling through the socioeconomic challenges of being poor and black. To add to that predicament and the narrative discussing it, I lived and grew up in one of this country’s most racially segregated cities in a community permeated with deadly criminal activities and hard core gangs. As an elementary school student, I lived on a block where people were stabbed, beaten, and killed. I saw people robbed and someone attempted to rob. me at knifepoint in a violent confrontation. And those experiences still shape me today.

Second, I decided to reflect on how core parental dedication helped to make sure that despite those surroundings I would be given a foundation to recognize that I could succeed and transcend the demoralizing pitfalls being observed on a daily basis in my neighborhood. Third, I must highlight how a lack of resources to adequately guide choices limits the pipeline possibilities even for those few like me who have the abilities to go forward. This discussion involves a lack of knowledge and financial support to even consider an Ivy League education and its benefits despite having the academic qualifications as a National Merit Finalist in high school. It also involves a discussion of being pushed to pursue a career in engineering when further reflection might have suggested development of other educational interests leading to a more traditional path in the law.

Fourth, I have to bring forward my experience in recovering from a somewhat ill-advised engineering educational focus by going to law school which culminates with me obtaining a position in the academy as a law professor despite not having Ivy League credentials. The most important part of this discussion must include the support and the validation I received in my quest to join the professoriate that I gained by becoming a Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Finally, as an African American male who practiced employment discrimination law, worked at large law firms, a boutique, and a union law firm, and who now teaches and writes about issues of race and workplace discrimination, I believe that my personal experience adds a unique perspective especially given the dearth of African American male law professors who teach and write in an area of law so important to African American males.

However, given the three minute timeframe during the actual presentation I only discussed the first two areas of focus: 1) the initial aspect of growing up in the Englewood neighborhood; and 2) how important parental involvement and activism was in pushing me forward despite the burdens of my surroundings. At the end of my presentation, I couched that discussion by asserting why I believed my story highlights how the lack of black male law professors who teach workplace law and discrimination supports the overall narrative of ongoing discrimination in the academy. The presentation and this Article reflect what it meant for me growing up under certain circumstances that presented barriers to becoming a law professor, and how that initial experience as shown by my personal narrative further indicates why discrimination in the academy continues.

Article: “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community”

Article: Matthew Desmond, et al., “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community,” 81 American Sociological Review 857 (2016).

High-profile cases of police violence—disproportionately experienced by black men—may present a serious threat to public safety if they lower citizen crime reporting. Using an interrupted time series design, this study analyzes how one of Milwaukee’s most publicized cases of police violence against an unarmed black man, the beating of Frank Jude, affected police-related 911 calls. Controlling for crime, prior call patterns, and several neighborhood characteristics, we find that residents of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, especially residents of black neighborhoods, were far less likely to report crime after Jude’s beating was broadcast. The effect lasted for over a year and resulted in a total net loss of approximately 22,200 calls for service. Other local and national cases of police violence against unarmed black men also had a significant impact on citizen crime reporting in Milwaukee. Police misconduct can powerfully suppress one of the most basic forms of civic engagement: calling 911 for matters of personal and public safety.