‘How Could We? Regret and the Pursuit of Humanity’
SPOKANE, Wash. – Seattle University School of Law Professor Steven W. Bender will discuss U.S. public policies in a lecture titled “How Could We? Regret and the Pursuit of Humanity” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19 in the Barbieri Courtroom at the Gonzaga University School of Law. The free lecture is open to the public and part of the Human Solidarity and Security Speaker Series.
In his lecture, drawn from his forthcoming book by the same name, Bender offers a “definitive moral compass” steeped in American legal, economic, political and cultural history for guiding contemporary decision-makers and the public toward policies and practices that avoid “societal regret” and express compassion. Starting with a review of federal and state apologies issued for previous dehumanizing policies and practices, Bender will explore the current practices and policies that he believes are candidates for future societal regret.
Whether we are artists, scholars, judges, students, the heads of business corporations, educational leaders, or citizens, Bender asserts we all have an important interest in avoiding dehumanization. He will consider racial slavery, segregation, gender discrimination, and state mistreatment of the mentally infirm alongside the death penalty, race and criminal justice, immigration policy, the treatment of farm laborers, structural poverty, and other issues.
Bender suggests the twin lenses of inhumanity and compassion, in their legal and social dimensions, offer a framework to resolve some of the most contentious and vexing social problems of our time, and challenge us to face and embrace the imaginative question, “How could we?”
Bender is the author of “Greasers and Gringos: Latinos, Law, and the American Imagination”; “One Night in America: Robert Kennedy, César Chávez, and the Dream of Dignity”; “Comprende?: The Significance of Spanish in English-Only Times”; “Tierra y Libertad: Land, Liberty, and Latino Housing”; “Run for the Border: Vice and Virtue in U.S.-Mexico and Border Crossings”; and “Everyday Law for Latinos.” He is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and a past co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers.
The Human Solidarity and Security Speaker Series is presented by the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies and the Journal of Hate Studies, and is co-sponsored by the Gonzaga University School of Law, the Multicultural Law Student Caucus, and Unity Multicultural Education Center.