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UH Law Center to host town hall discussion about race in commemoration of Juneteenth

June 16, 2020 – In response to numerous recent events in the U.S., including the death of George Floyd, a Houston native, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the University of Houston Law Center will host a panel discussion titled, “Racism and What To Do About it” at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The panel will be presented by the Law Center’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which is co-chaired by Professor Meredith Duncan, the George Butler Research Professor of Law and Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Metropolitan Programs and Clinical Professor Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the Immigration Clinic. Dean Leonard M. Baynes will serve as moderator.

Speakers include:

  • Kirk Dobbins ’93, Vice President and Regional Counsel of Kaiser Permanente in Portland
  • Tiana Sanford ‘08, Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney
  • Richard Craig Smith LL.M. ‘00 a partner at Quinn Emanuel in Washington, D.C.

"As a nation, we have made great strides towards equality, diversity and inclusion," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes." But our gains are fragile, and our civic bonds are very weak. We are a nation of very diverse individuals from very different backgrounds.

"Going forward, I ask all of us to recommit our efforts to eradicate the scourge of racism, and discussions like this can help."

The significance of Juneteenth stems from when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston on June 19, 1865 that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Click here to register to the event, which will be held on Zoom.

If you would like to submit a question for the panelists in advance, please email them to

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