(Update) 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: Who Will Help Carry the SALT Banner Fighting for Social Justice and Educational Access?

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By Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law

Law professors join 50th Anniversary March on Washington, stand up against inequality
Law professors join 50th Anniversary March on Washington

Dear Law Colleagues:

At the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on Saturday, August 24, 2013 who is going to help carry the SALT who will help carry the SALT banner fighting for social justice and educational access?

As a the largest independent membership organization of legal academics in the United States in our 40th year of working for all components of assuring that more perfect union in this country, we are going to March on Washington.

SALT members and non-members who wish, at this crucial time, to show support for important aspects of what it means to us to provide an excellent legal education, to keep doors open to all types of persons in the classroom, teaching, and in the profession, to show respect and recognize the human dignity of all, to heal the poor, and to help the arc bend toward justice as it would not do so on its own, COME MARCH and if you would like COME MARCH WITH US.

This year SALT is working within the United States Human Rights Network to prepare a shadow report on the United States compliance with its international obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  This work is a follow-up to our work on this back in 2008.  SALT has observer status with certain UN bodies and is using that platform along with its traditional domestic platforms to reframe and advance in this crucial time our domestic concerns with racial justice both on the domestic and international plane – as was done before us in the 1940’s by the NAACP and Ralph Bunche at the UN.

I personally hope that adding the international dimension helps clarify what needs to be done in a way that gets obscured by our federalism and separation of powers battles because the international obligations are on the entire United States and its structure, not one part.

Here is SALT’s current work from our website.  If this work speaks to you, then come March on Washington and come March under our banner.

Academic Freedom Committee

Academic freedom is as important today as it has ever been, especially when universities are looking for ways to cut costs in response to the current economic crisis. With important reforms in legal education necessary to produce the next generation of ethical and competent attorneys, the value of a strong faculty voice in decision making is paramount.

Access to Justice Committee

  • The goal of this committee is to re-center the role of the attorney and legal academic as a public citizen committed to social justice.
  • SALT is dedicated to achieving an inclusive system of legal education that offers equal opportunities to study law to men and women from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse population. The faculty and administration of every law school should also reflect this diversity.

  • Respect for human rights both here and abroad is central to the work of the Human Rights Committee: immigration reform, accountability for authorization and use of torture on “war on terror” detainees, and adherence to the rule of law are just a few of this committee’s projects.

  • The content and quality of legal education and law faculty’s participation in the development of innovative and effective ways to teach substantive law, professional skills, and the values needed to educate competent and dedicated professionals are the very heart of SALT’s mission.  Learning assessments; bar admissions and alternatives to the bar exam; status and teaching; and ABA Council liaison are all aspects of this committee’s work. SALT recently sent letters to the Standards Review Committee including; SALT on Tenure Standard 405 NOV2012,  SALT on Bar Passage Standard OCT2012,SALT on Outcome Measures of Law Graduates OCT2012

  • SALT supports the nomination and confirmation of the best and the brightest to serve our country, men and women who respect the Rule of Law and to aspire to the ideals of American democracy.  SALT will oppose those nominations when candidates do not represent the principles of SALT.

  • SALT is working to ensure that LGBT students, faculty, and staff have full access to the opportunities at their law schools, and is proud to have played a role in repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

  • There are many roles available to practitioners within the legal academy and different routes on how to get there.  The New Teachers’ Pipeline Committee is dedicated to helping law professionals ‘break in’ to the legal profession by organizing informative events giving opportunity to learn from insiders: deans, administrators, and seasoned faculty.

For information on where we will March from etc, please contact me at ben.davis@utoledo.edu.  For overall March details see http://nationalactionnetwork.net/mow/.

I am going to start assembling from the Washington Court Hotel at 6h00 am walking to the Lincoln Memorial down Capitol Hill across the Mall to the Lincoln Memorial for the 8 am rally.  Just look for the sign and use social media to find us.

Update –

My father made us stay in the house in DC in 1963 for fear of violence while he went.  This time I am going with my son and maybe my daughter, keeping the faith with something 400 years old.  There will be an effort to recuperate this – I hear Obama has been invited to speak – but no one owns the March on Washington.  The people own the March on Washington. If people can not get to DC, they should march on their state capitol to let the powers that be know their concerns on all kinds of oppression – Voting Rights Act gutting, voter suppression laws, narrowing abortion rights, cutting out food stamps, not participating in Obamacare, housing for the poor, the prison –industrial complex, the school to prison pipeline, the federal prosecution of George Zimmerman for violating Trayvon Martin’s constitutional rights, the gun violence, the education ripoff of poor students, immigrant oppression.  You name it – and own it. Both at state capitols and in DC can happen on the same day.  Nothing is exclusive.