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Richard Rothstein    

Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and Senior Fellow (Emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Richard Rothstein is affiliated with the Economic Policy Institute, and a senior fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Previously, he was the national education columnist for The New York Times from 1999 to 2002. Rothstein lectures widely about issues of equity, race, and education. His current research focuses on the history of segregation in the United States with regards to education and housing.

Rothstein is the author of "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America," which recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation.

He lives in California, where he had been a senior fellow at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the law school of the University of California, Berkeley until it closed in 2015. Rothstein was then affiliated with the Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Speech Topics


The Color of Law

Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the U.S. and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems – it corrupts our criminal justice system, exacerbates economic inequality, and produces large academic gaps between white and African American schoolchildren. We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregate neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto—the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights. The Color of Law demonstrates, however, that residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-twentieth century that openly subsidized whites-only suburbanization in which African Americans were prohibited from participating. Only after learning the history of this policy can we be prepared to undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape.

News


Opinion | The Neighborhoods We Will Not Share - The New York ...

By Richard Rothstein. Mr. Rothstein is the author of “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.” Jan. 20, 2020.

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