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.
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…

Remembering Dr. King's Dream as Voters Go to the Polls in South Carolina

Remembering Dr. King's Dream as Voters Go to the Polls in South Carolina

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 8:49am

Today voters are going to the polls in South Carolina to exercise their most fundamental democratic right: the right to vote. This week we celebrated the life and work of Martin Luther King, and in doing so we recall his championing of the Voting Rights…

"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…

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.

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.

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.

Honoring Heroic African-Americans

Honoring Heroic African-Americans

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:27pm

For far too many African-Americans, the nation's aspirations remain a dream deferred.

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…

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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