New York Law School

Archive for 2012

Black Youth Are More Exposed to Alcohol

Turn to your favorite hip-hop TV station.  Watch the advertisements. Open up the latest issue of Jet or Vibe magazine.  Turn on the radio.  It’s everywhere—the African American youth culture is knee deep in alcohol exposure.  A recent study published by John Hopkins University Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) reinforces that it’s time to begin implementing some changes.

On September 27, 2012, CAMY released a study putting some concrete data findings behind their concerns of marketing to Black youth.  The focus of the CAMY study was to: (1) analyze exposure of alcohol advertising by type and brand among Black youth ages 12-20 in comparison to all youth ages 12-20; and (2) assess the exposure of Black youth ages 12-20 to alcohol advertising relative to Black adults and all adults, and accordingly the extent to which Black youth were exposed to more alcohol advertising relative to adults in magazines, on radio, and on television.

The bottom line: African Americans ages 12 to 20, generally consuming more media than other non-African American youth, are exposed to far more alcohol advertisements on TV and in magazines than youth in general. Read more

2013 Symposium Announced: Remembering the Dream, Renewing the Dream

SAVE THE DATE! Friday, September 13, 2013 at New York Law School

Remembering the Dream, Renewing the Dream: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech and the March on Washington

On the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech and the March on Washington, leaders of the civil rights movement will join prominent civil and human rights attorneys and legal scholars to reflect on the impact Dr. King’s speech and the March had on the civil rights movement, examine civil rights enforcement in the federal courts, and discuss the legacy of these events today and for the future.

For more information or to pre-register, visit the symposium website at www.nyls.edu/RememberingTheDream.

Sponsored by the Justice Action Center at New York Law School, the New York Law School Racial Justice Project, and the New York Law School Law Review. Selected papers presented at the symposium will be published in a future issue of the New York Law School Law Review.

Race-based Education Standards in Florida

In a move that is drawing heavy criticism from parents, educators, school board members, and community advocates, Florida’s State Board of Education just approved a plan that sets educational achievement standards at different levels based on race. Under this new plan, white and Asian students are held to a higher standard than black and Hispanic students, with the expectation that 88% of white students and 90% of Asian students will be reading at grade level by 2018, while only 74% of black students and 81% of Hispanic students are expected to be reach that same goal.  The goals for math proficiency are similar, with the highest targets set for white and Asian students and the lowest set for Hispanic and black students. Read more

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Files Complaint Challenging Specialized High Schools

On September 29, 2012, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”) filed a complaint against the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and New York State Department of Education (NYSDOE), alleging that the admissions process for New York City’s Specialized High Schools (SHS’s) causes unjustified racially disparate impact, and is therefore in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The admissions process is determined solely by a student’s rank-order score on a multiple-choice exam called the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). LDF’s complaint alleges that this admissions process results in many qualified, high-potential students being denied access to the experiences that New York City’s Specialized High Schools offer. Read more

The Community Safety Act

It can happen anywhere. Walking home from school. Walking to the grocery store. Walking to the subway. Thousands of New Yorkers are stopped and frisked by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers every year.  Stop-and-frisk consists of two separate acts with respective levels of legal justification.  When a police officer has reasonable suspicion that a person is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a crime, the officer may stop that person; however, in order to “frisk” or search that person, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that the person stopped has a deadly weapon or instrument.  Read more

Voter Victory in Texas

Many states have or are trying to pass legislation to make the requirements to vote in an election very costly and complicated—potentially disenfranchising many poor and minority populations around the country. Thankfully though, one of the most suppressive voter identification laws to date will not be in effect this November. Texas Senate Bill 14, a very stringent voter identification bill passed in 2011, was recently declared unconstitutional by a three-judge panel of the District Court of the District of Columbia; marking “the first time a federal court has blocked a restrictive voter ID law.”

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The New Supreme Court Term

Monday, October 1, 2012 marked the commencement of the new term for the United States Supreme Court. This term is filled with controversial issues ranging from same-sex marriage to drug-sniffing dogs. Especially interesting are the race-related cases that are before the Court. The highly anticipated race-conscious admissions case, Fisher v. University of Texas, for which the Court heard oral arguments on October 10, is a very important case. Petitioner Fisher brought this equal protection action against the University of Texas alleging that she was denied admission and passed over for minority students due to UT’s race-conscious admissions program. The primary issue presented is whether race can be considered in admissions programs at institutes of higher education. Read more

Professor Deborah Archer in HuffPost

Professor Deborah Archer’s blog post, “The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations: Why Affirmative Action Still Matters” is now featured in The Huffington Post. In her post, Professor Archer explores the importance of race-conscious university admissions programs like those currently under review by the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas. She also exposes the flawed reasoning underlying conservative attacks on affirmative action. Read the complete post here.

RJP Files Amicus Brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

Today, the New York Law School Racial Justice Project filed an amicus curiae brief in Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin, a case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear in October.  The case is a challenge to UT Austin’s consideration of race as a factor in undergraduate admissions and will be the first time the Court addresses affirmative action in higher education since Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003. Read more

Racial Justice Project Releases Food Deserts Report

Unshared Bounty Report

The New York Law School Racial Justice Project and the Racial Justice Program of the American Civil Liberties Union have co-authored a report on food deserts —areas with either no access or limited access to fresh, affordable food—and the impact on communities of color.  The report is titled Unshared Bounty:  How Structural Racism Contributes to the Creation and Persistence of Food Deserts.  Approximately 23.5 million people in the U.S. live in low-income neighborhoods located more than 1 mile from a supermarket.  African Americans are half as likely to have access to chain supermarkets and Hispanics are a third less likely to have access to chain supermarkets than are whites.  Moreover, studies have found that minority communities are more likely to have smaller grocery stores carrying higher priced, less varied food products than other neighborhoods.

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