United States Supreme Court

The Center for Racial Equity

Law firms have a special responsibility to promote the values of justice, fairness, and equity. The Center is dedicated to advancing racial justice by using legal, policy, and advocacy tools to help create a more fair and equitable society.
Black Lives Matter

The stark images from the video of George Floyd’s death led to the most significant collective demonstration of civil unrest in generations. This event was a tipping point, the latest in a series of police and community violence against people of color, most especially Black and African Americans. This Center was created to acknowledge past inaction and take concrete steps toward addressing systemic inequalities.

We cannot ignore that America’s foundation is rooted in slavery, an institution that persisted for more than 200 years. That legacy did not end in 1865 with abolition. We note our country’s troubled past and present with lynchings, Jim Crow laws, mass incarceration, voter suppression, economic redlining, zoning laws, and lending and hiring practices that created concentrations of poverty, unequal education, inadequate health care, and disproportionate rates of unemployment in the Black community. Justice in this country has not been blind or equal. While we acknowledge some progress, we recognize that the legacy of slavery persists to this day in both overt acts of discrimination and in more subtle and pernicious attitudes, behaviors, and laws.

Get Involved: Contact The AFSCRE

 

Our Work

ArentFox Schiff’s commitment to public interest dates back to the Firm's founding partners. The Center is a continuation of this pledge and embraces a thematic approach to the Firm’s substantial pro bono commitment, devoting over 8,700 hours by 206 lawyers, paralegals, and legal professionals from inception in June 2020 through November 2022 YTD that specifically further the goals of racial justice and equity. Among our accomplishments, we highlight our Partnership with Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center and Affiliations with NAACP LDF, LCCRUL, and more.

Learn more about our work

Mike Brown

We supported the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University in drafting legislation to introduce in Congress.

Texas Voting Rights

We represent NAACP LDF in a challenge to voting laws passed by the Texas legislature after the 2020 election.

National LCCRUL Biometric Privacy

We researched and provided responses to a request for information from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Center for American Progress

We were engaged to provide advice on the laws of various states relating to the process for the certification of elections, remedies for failing to do so properly, and other matters relating to free and fair elections.

Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Maternal Health Care

ArentFox Schiff attorney Anne-Carmene Almonord hosted a discussion on racial disparities in maternal health care and how to end them.

NAACP LDF Voting Rights Project

ArentFox Schiff attorneys analyzed 50 state laws regarding voting poll regulations.

Washington Lawyers’ Committee

ArentFox Schiff assisted the Washington Lawyers’ Committee with racial disparities research in connection with traffic stops.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

ArentFox Schiff attorneys assist low-income individuals and families struggling with bail bond debt through the LCCR Bail Clinic.

National LCCRUL Alabama Redistricting Project

LCCRUL engaged ArentFox Schiff to assist in a multi-faceted project to safeguard the right to equitable access to the ballot and ensure a fair redistricting process.

Promoting Equality

“As a law firm, we have a central role to play in the process of reconciliation. As lawyers, we have a special responsibility to promote values of justice, fairness, and equality in the law and in practice. ArentFox Schiff has the resources, talent, and prominence to effect change and bring about meaningful reform.”

Mark M. Katz, Of Counsel, Chairman 2020-2021

Taking Action

“ArentFox Schiff was founded in part because of lawyers who experienced a system of prejudice and exclusion, and we have worked to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for lawyers and staff from all backgrounds. With the legacy of the Firm’s founder Al Arent clearly in mind, we acknowledge the urgent need to take action and do more.”

Cristina A. Carvalho, Firmwide Co-Managing Partner

 

Black Lives Matter protest
Creating Change

At Work Supporting and coordinating initiatives to promote equality for Black people and other people of color at the Firm and in the legal community.

In the Law Initiating and supporting pro bono activities to promote racial justice in all of our communities.

Through Education Sponsoring workshops and educational sessions to advance the Mission.

In Policy Advocating for legislative reform.

In Communities Strengthening our partnerships with existing organizations that are dedicated to racial justice, ending discrimination, and social reform for members of the Black community and communities of color.

Key Contacts