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.

Holding Wall Street Accountable: ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices

Holding Wall Street Accountable: ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:18am
The economic crisis of 2008, which was devastating for the nation’s economy as a whole, was nothing short of disastrous for communities of color. Much of the decades of progress toward full inclusion in the American dream which was ushered in by the landmark civil rights laws of the 1960’s disappeared virtually overnight, stripping communities of color of their homes and their financial futures. These enormous setbacks were not the result of a natural disaster but were instead the easily foreseeable consequences of forces set in motion by banks eager to realize enormous profits without regard to the impact upon vulnerable communities.
House Holds Forum on Racial Profiling and Hate Crimes in Wake of Trayvon Martin's Killing

House Holds Forum on Racial Profiling and Hate Crimes in Wake of Trayvon Martin's Killing

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:25pm

Today's forum on racial profiling and hate crimes will address how we as a nation want to ensure that young men like Trayvon are not the victims of vigilante justice and racial profiling.

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…

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…

"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…

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 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.

Rolling Back Diversity: What's at Stake if Race is No Longer a Consideration in College Admissions?

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:51pm

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case challenging race in the admission process at the University of Texas risks taking a giant step backward in ensuring diversity in academic institutions. At stake in Fisher v. the University of Texas…

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