Tim Wise, an American anti-racism activist and writer, spoke at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on February 19 during the law school’s annual Diversity Week.
Wise, who is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the U.S., spoke on “Racism, Privilege & the Law.” His lecture focused on why the American legal system is largely unable to address structural racism. In Wise’s opinion, “It is virtually impossible for the legal system, in the way it is currently structured, to undo systemic and institutional inequality.” He further discussed solutions, including creating a jurisprudence that allows recovery for foreseeable impacts in addition to disparate ones.
Wise has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states. He is the author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America. Other books include Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority; and his highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.
John Marshall has been rated “one of the most diverse law schools in the nation” and was rated the top law school in the Midwest for diversity by preLaw magazine in 2019. Each year, the law school hosts a week of programming celebrating the law school’s diversity. The events include daily presentations and discussions with legal experts and community leaders on topics related to diversity and current events. Student groups, including the Black Law Students Association and OUTLaw, held discussions on the importance of being an ally to disenfranchised groups, as well as the struggles members of the LGBTQ+ community still face today.