Four College of Law faculty members have been awarded research grants for the Chancellor's Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Program. The goal of the program is to enhance exceptional cross-disciplinary research strengths and expand collaborations to build cultures of research that address structures of racism and injustice.
Professor Jennifer Robbennolt and her co-PIs Scott Althaus (Cline Center for Advanced Social Research) and Mike Schlosser (Police Training Institute) have been awarded a grant for their project, Holding Police Accountable for Systemic Racial Injustice: The Illinois SPOTLITE System.
"Illinois law requires policing agencies to report each use of lethal force, to measure racial disparities in these incidents, and to report this information to the public. But this has not happened. The Illinois SPOTLITE system will fill this gap by creating accurate, comprehensive, and accessible data about lethal force incidents in Illinois from 2014 to the present. This data will empower communities, enhance accountability, identify agencies most in need of reform, and facilitate rigorous evaluation of reform efforts."
Professors Jason Mazzone and Robin Fretwell Wilson, along with co-PI Brian Gaines (Political Science) have been awarded a grant for their project. They will be using the funds during the 2021-22 academic year to work with courts to develop and implement practices that promote access to justice in virtual judicial proceedings.
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, courts shifted many of their operations online--and they are enthusiastic about continuing online proceedings in many cases even after it is safe to go back to the courtroom. But the research we have done over the past year demonstrates that, as currently structured, virtual court proceedings pose significant disadvantages for members of racial and other minority groups who lack equal access to and familiarity with digital technology. With the benefit of the grant funding, we'll be figuring out how to make virtual court accessible and fair for all."
Professor Colleen Murphy and co-PIs Jerry Davila (History), Terri Barnes (History), and Flavia Andrade (Social Work) have been awarded a grant for their project focused on transitional justice.
"Over 40 countries have pursued transitional justice to address histories of violence, state impunity, authoritarianism and racism. Transitional justice processes seek truth, justice, reparations, reform, and guarantees of non-recurrence. Our project will map and adapt international experiences with transitional justice as a foundation for a framework to redress the U.S. history of racial and gender-based injustice. This multidisciplinary project responds to the theme of systemic racism and social justice within the societal impact track of the Call to Action."