2007-08 Symposium

The School Desegregation Cases and the Uncertain Future of Racial Equality

February 21-22, 2008 | Saxbe Auditorium

Concluding its 2006-2007 term with a historic ruling on race in public policy, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, struck down voluntary integration plans in the public schools of Seattle, Washington and Louisville, Kentucky.

Although a majority of the Justices ruled in favor of the elimination of race-conscious student assignment policies in elementary and secondary schools except as a last resort, five Justices found that there exists a compelling government interest in addressing the serious harm of racial isolation in our classrooms and communities.

The Court’s decision has sparked a national conversation over the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, the relationship between race and opportunity, and how to achieve racial integration and fulfill the promise of Brown v. Board of Education.

The Ohio State Law Journal will convene a Symposium of legal scholars, social science and education experts to discuss the impact of this decision on the pursuit of racial equality in public schools and beyond. Papers generated from the Symposium participants will be published in the Ohio State Law Journal in the fall of 2008. All members of the community are invited to join in this important discussion.