Blog of Rights

Dennis
Parker

Parker is director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program, leading its efforts in combating discrimination and addressing other issues with a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Parker oversees work to combat the “School-to-Prison” pipeline, the profiling of airline passengers subjected to searches and wrongfully placed on watch lists and the racial bias in the criminal justice system. Prior to joining the ACLU, Parker was the chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the Office of New York State Attorney General under Eliot Spitzer. He previously spent 14 years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Parker has also worked with the New York Legal Aid Society. He teaches Race, Poverty and Constitutional Law at New York Law School. He graduated from Harvard Law School and Middlebury College.

Solution to Campus Diversity Problem Isn't Segregation Everywhere Else

Solution to Campus Diversity Problem Isn't Segregation Everywhere Else

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program at 6:04pm
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in the university admissions case, Fisher v. University of Texas. In it, the Court left intact the important principle that universities have a compelling interest in a diverse student body, and that race can be one factor among many that universities may consider in a carefully crafted admissions program. Like decisions before it, the Court recognized that educational benefits flow from a diverse student body. However, the case was sent back to the lower court with instructions that the lower court more closely examine the means that the University of Texas used to achieve a diverse student body in order to assure that it complies with clearly-established criteria for the Constitutional use of race in admissions. Significantly, the Court did not strike down the University's plan. It is our belief that Texas's program will survive the lower court's review.
Living in Parallel Worlds

Living in Parallel Worlds

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:01pm

It is difficult to convey how painful it is to live in a world in which nothing you do is as important as the color of your skin.

The Fierce Urgency of Now

The Fierce Urgency of Now

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:09pm

For me, few anniversaries inspire as much ambivalence as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Billed as the "March for Jobs and Freedom," the event stands as both a shining example of the promise of the civil rights era and a reminder of…

An important step towards holding Wall Street accountable

An important step towards holding Wall Street accountable

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 5:14pm

In a historic ruling, today a judge gave us the green light to move forward with a case alleging that Morgan Stanley discriminated against black homeowners in the Detroit area in violation of the Fair Housing Act ("FHA").

"Morgan Stanley—as…

Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:14pm

The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012, while not the first act of senseless violence of its kind, evoked a wide array of emotions including sadness, anger, and fear. For many of us, hearing the verdict two days ago felt…

"We have come some of the way, not nearly all, there is much yet to do."

"We have come some of the way, not nearly all, there is much yet to do."

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 9:55am

Assessing the legacy of the Fair Housing Act on its 45th Anniversary.

As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the landmark Fair Housing Act, it is easy to forget how close we came to being denied the benefit of that landmark legislation. After…

Celebrating Black History Month and Protecting Voting Rights

Celebrating Black History Month and Protecting Voting Rights

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 2:07pm

Like many Americans who watched President Obama's State of the Union address, I was moved by Desiline Victor, the 102 year-old African American woman who was forced to endure a six hour wait in order to vote in the 2012 presidential election. It is…

The Economic Crisis Isn't Colorblind

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 9:51am

As the presidential election season heats up, the candidates will clash over how the country should climb back from the 2008 economic slump.

Shirley Sherrod, and a Meaningful Discussion of Race

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 5:49pm

As described in Ben Smith’s Politico article “So much for that ‘conversation’ on race,” the events leading to the firing of Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department…

Stimulus Funds Must Acknowledge Employment Gap

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 9:00am

(Also published on Daily Kos.)

Widely regarded as the last opportunity to enjoy summer with a three-day weekend of cookouts and trips to the beach, Labor Day, the United States Department of Labor’s website informs us, was originally…

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