The Ira C. Rothgerber Jr. Conference on Constitutional Law is an annual Byron R. White Center event that brings scholars and lawyers from across the nation to the University of Colorado Law School to discuss current Constitutional law issue. Topics have included the future of national injunctions, listeners’ First Amendment rights and litigation strategies that promote Constitutional change.

2022 Rothgerber Conference

Looking Back to Move Forward: Exploring the Legacy of U.S. Slavery

Rothgerber Poster

The 30th Annual Ira C. Rothgerber Conference's kick-off event is on Thursday, April 7 and the conference is on Friday, April 8, 2022.

The 30th Annual Ira C. Rothgerber Conference will occur virtually and in-person on Friday, April 8, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT. There will be a special, pre-conference performance of Motus Theater's JustUs Project the evening before, on Thursday, April 7. This year's conference is co-sponsored by the Center for African and African American Studies.

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Thursday, April 7, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

In collaboration with the Motus Theater, this years conference presents JustUs: Stories from the Frontlines of the Criminal Legal System. Motus JustUs monologists Dereck Bell, Juaquin Mobley, and Colette Payne, will read aloud their powerful autobiographical stories artfully depicting their experiences within the criminal legal system.

Motus Theater Monologists

  • Dereck Bell, Juaquin Mobley, and Colette Payne

(Proof of vaccination is required to enter the Dairy Arts Center)

Friday, April 8, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Conference Panel and Speakers

    Conference facilitated by: Suzette Malveaux (Colorado Law, director of the Byron R. White Center)

    9 a.m. | Introductory Remarks by Professor Suzette Malveaux

    9:15 - 9:45 a.m. | Book Chat with Dean Lolita Buckner Inniss (Colorado Law) and Professor Hilary Green (University of Alabama) 

    9:55 – 11:25 a.m.  |  Roundtable: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre; The Quest for Accountability 

    • Moderator: Professor Suzette Malveaux (Colorado Law)
    • Professor Eric Miller (Loyola Law School), Professor Emerita Adjoa Aiyetoro (William H. Bowen School of Law), Reverend Robert Turner (former pastor of Historic AME Church in Tulsa), Damario Solomon-Simmons, Esq. (Solomon Simmons Law)

    11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Panel 1: Institutional Complicity in U.S. Slavery; the Role of the Judiciary and Higher Education 

    • Moderator: Erin Vanek (Colorado Law '22)
    • Professor Michael Higginbotham (University of Baltimore Law School), Professor Brian Mitchell (University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Professor Christopher Mathis (University of Iowa College of Law - visiting)

    12:30 - 1 p.m. | Lunch Break (Food provided by Colorado Law)

    1:30 – 3 p.m. | Panel 2: Vestiges of Slavery in the Criminal Justice System 

    • Moderator: Professor Ben Levin (Colorado Law)
    • Professor Jack Chin (UC Davis School of Law), Professor Sunita Patel (UCLA School of Law), Professor Monica Bell (Yale Law), Robert Saleem Holbrook (Executive Director of the Abolition Law Center, Penn Law)

    3:10 – 4:10 p.m. | Panel 3: Bringing It Home: How Slavery Impacts Property and Land Ownership in Colorado Today 

    • Moderator: Sam McCarthy (Colorado Law '23)
    • Professor Tom Romero (University of Denver Sturm College of Law), Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca (Denver District 9),  Rita R. Lewis (former Executive Director- Denver Metro Fair Housing Center)

    4:15 p.m. | Closing Remarks

    • Professor Reiland Rabaka (CU Boulder - CAAAS) and Professor Suzette Malveaux (Colorado Law)