Published: Sept. 13, 2021 By

In the past two years, many things have been put on pause. The global pandemic has shut down schools, workplaces, and most in-person gatherings. The pandemic essentially caused the nation to halt, and in many ways has interrupted the path towards equality in this country. However, things are slowly beginning to open back up - in-person events are now safe to participate in, and it is now time to continue discussions that may have been muffled out. The Rosenbloom Endowed Symposium for the Exploration of Ideas is being held in-person this year, moderating an interdisciplinary discussion on the state of equality in 2021. 

Watch the 2020 Virtual Rosenbloom Symposium

The Rosenbloom Endowed Symposium for the Exploration of Ideas is an annual event hosted by the Conference for World Affairs (CWA) and the CU Law School. Together, they put on a speaker series to discuss various topics related to law, political science, ethics, and many other disciplines. This year, selected speakers from across the country will be discussing the state of equality in 2021, moderated by the CU Law School's new Dean, Lolita Buckner Innis. The Symposium will be held on October 26 at 4:00 p.m. in the Wittemeyer Courtroom in the Wolf Law Building on CU Boulder’s campus and also livestreamed on the CU Law YouTube channel.

The CWA is a 70-year-old campus organization that is best known for its week-long event that is hosted in April, but also hosts events throughout the year. Katherine and John Rosenbloom are supporters of the University of Colorado, and John Rosenbloom is a CU Law School Alum. The Rosenblooms established the Symposium in honor of former CU Law School Dean Phillip Weiser, who now serves as the Attorney General of Colorado. The Rosenblooms and the CWA have worked together on the Symposium for the past four years.

“It has been a good partnership,” said Katherine Rosenbloom. The Symposium and the CWA have worked together to expand discussions from beyond just topics of law. 

“The law school and CWA have been able to expand the scope of the topics so that it is now interdisciplinary, and I think that the CWA has allowed for greater breadth in terms of critically looking at important issues and bringing different disciplines to the discussion,” said John Rosenbloom. The partnership has been beneficial to the CWA as well, as it allows them to hold more events throughout the year. 

“Holding events like the Rosenbloom Symposium allows us to speak more immediately and frequently to the many issues confronting the country and the world,” said John Griffin, CWA Faculty Director.

This is an especially important event for the CWA, as it is their first in-person event since 2019. Masks will be required indoors, as per Boulder County and CU Boulder requirements, but the event will be free and open to students, faculty, and community members alike. 

“After hosting events excusively online, we're excited for students to get to be back in a courtroom hearing from scholars,” said Erin Rain, the Assistant Director of Marketing and Media Relations for the CWA.

The topic, the state of equality in 2021, is one that the Symposium felt would be especially important in our political and social climate. As we emerge from the pandemic, this sort of discussion is especially important.

“There is such division in our country that has taken place in the past few years, and lots of things have been put on hold as far as civil rights, equal rights, women's rights,” said Katherine Rosenbloom. 

Three different speakers from across the country will be attending, representing several different departments. The speakers include Adam Omar Hosein; a Fellow-in-Residence at the Department of Ethics at Harvard University, Reva Siegel; a Professor of Law at Yale Law School, and James Lindley Wilson; Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. The discussion will be moderated by Lolita Buckner Innis, CU Law School’s first Black female Dean. The diverse backgrounds and academic concentrations of the speakers will make for an integrated discussion on the state of equality in our country today. 

“I think that equality is an idea that is easy to mention, it is easy to articulate, but not everybody has the same understanding of what it means in terms of our day to day lives and our laws,” said John Rosenbloom, “The symposium was brought together with the idea that different aspects of the idea of equality would be explored with different realms of philosophy, politics, morality and real-world examples.”