Stanford Center for Racial Justice

Rethinking Race, Dismantling Racism, Furthering Justice

“From the ways in which our Constitution and laws supported the enslavement of Black people, to segregation and disenfranchisement in the post-Reconstruction era, to current discrimination in the criminal system, voting rights, access to housing, education and health care, among other issues, racism is like a metastatic cancer in our society and legal system, and we must eradicate it. To do that, we must first see it clearly. And that requires scholarly work that meets the urgent legal and policy needs to build a more equitable future.”
–  Jenny S. Martinez, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School

Fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement and its resulting landmark legislation, racism remains the fault line in American society.  The contradiction at the founding of our nation – the proclamation of equality and liberty with the embrace of slavery – remains unresolved. Undermining racism entails unraveling these narratives and inequalities, and understanding that racism harms people of all races, prohibiting union around shared economic interests across racial lines.

The Stanford Center for Racial Justice (SCRJ) aims to advance justice for all people. Led by Professor Ralph Richard “Rick” Banks, BA ’87, the Center will train and prepare students to be in the vanguard of advancing a new racial norm.  Through publishing and teaching on timely issues, student engagement, service, and training, the Center will facilitate social change by providing research and collaboration on policy reforms to dismantle racism.

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One Year After Charlottesville: Racism and the White Supremacist Movement in the U.S.

Ralph Richard Banks

Ralph Richard Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law, is the co-founder and Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Banks has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1998.  Professor Banks teaches and writes about race and the law, employment discrimination, family law, and the 14th Amendment.  He practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers and clerked for the Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr.  Banks is the author of Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone and the forthcoming The Miseducation of America: Elite Universities and the Crisis of Democracy.

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The Stanford Center for Racial Justice will become the preeminent venue for creating and disseminating research to advance policy and practice in support of racial justice.

Ralph Richard Banks, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law and Co-founder and Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice

George Brown

George Brown is the Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice. He is an advocate for social and racial justice with three decades of corporate law experience. Throughout his business career as a litigator and expert in security class actions and corporate governance, Brown has also advocated for social justice.

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I am honored to join Stanford to help pursue solutions to the current problems produced by our country’s long history of racial injustice. Together, we can help our society be fairer and more equitable, and work better for the benefit of everyone.

George Brown, Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice


Stanford Center for Racial Justice 1

Mission, Goals and Vision

The mission of the SCRJ is to engage in a broad approach to educating, training, and developing students to become effective practitioners and leaders; to beneficially impact the conversation and understanding about race and social change, by providing research and collaborating on public policy and other legal projects; and to assist and strengthen the legal sector to advance racial and social justice.

The goals of the Center are to promote and achieve legal and policy changes that expand equity and opportunity for Black people and other people of color and deepen understanding of the impact of legal developments on communities historically under represented or locked out of participation in key institutions of our nation.

The SCRJ will serve as a preeminent venue for producing and disseminating research, teaching, and developing leaders, to advance policy and practice in furtherance of racial justice. The realization of this vision requires rethinking race and dismantling racism.