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VLS Community Book Club on Racial Justice and Civil Rights

In collaboration with the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community at VLS, the George Barrett Social Justice Program cohosts and convenes interested members of the VLS community in discussion on thought-provoking works to analyze their ideas and perspectives with a goal of developing greater depth of understanding on themes of racial justice and civil rights.

Facilitated by a member of our faculty, each book club meeting encourages open and wide-ranging conversation on the themes raised in each work, connecting them to our own thinking, experiences and areas of study and research.


"The Emotionally Intelligent Judge" - Terry Maroney

"The Once and Future Juvenile Brain," in Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice - Terry Maroney

"Passive Takings: State Inaction and the Duty to Protect Property" - Christopher Serkin

Frizzly Studies: Negotiating the Invisible Lines of Race” - Daniel Sharfstein

The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White - Daniel Sharfstein

"Contracting Around Citizens United " - Ganesh Sitaraman

"Tax Rebates and the Cycle of Payday Borrowing" - Paige Skiba

"The Ticket to Easy Street? The Financial Consequences of Winning the Lottery" - Paige Skiba

Sell’s Conundrums: The Right of Incompetent Defendants to Refuse Anti-Psychotic Medication” - Christopher Slobogin


- George Barrett Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Jameel Jaffer addresses the impact of social media companies on free speech

- Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, delivers Vanderbilt’s 2018 George Barrett Social Justice Lecture

- Alana Seixas '18 is the Class of 2018 Garrison Social Justice Scholar

- Terry Maroney quoted in The Tennessean, "How can public defenders refuse cases?" 

- Daniel Sharfstein quoted in the New York Times, "Rihanna defended Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who claimed to be black

- Spring Miller quoted in U.S. News & World Report article on social justice programs in law school.

- Spring Miller named Vanderbilt Law School's inaugural Assistant Dean for Public Interest

- Rachel Dolezal's 'Passing' Isn't So Unusual: New York Times commentary by Professor Daniel Sharfstein

- 2015 graduates Clarke Agre and Nakeisha Jackson named Gideon's Promise Fellows

- Abby Moskowitz '17 is Vanderbilt's first Garrison Social Justice Scholar

- Sean Seymore and Social Justice Program co-director, Daniel Sharfstein, are named Chancellor Faculty Fellows

- New social justice scholarship endowed by Amy and Frank Garrison available to first-year law students

- Vidhi Sanghavi '15 awarded Skadden Fellowship

- Karen Lindell '12 to advocate for disabled juveniles as Skadden Fellow

Sara Beth Myers '09Sara Beth Myers '09: Advocating for Women and Children