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International ‘Pursuit of Justice’ Conference April 18-20 at Gonzaga Features Top Speakers, Scholars

(left) Criminologist Jack Levin and legal scholar Paul Butler

‘Understanding Hatred, Confronting Intolerance, Eliminating Inequality’

SPOKANE, Wash. – Legal scholar Paul Butler and criminologist Jack Levin headline “The Pursuit of Justice,” a dynamic three-day conference featuring nationally and internationally recognized scholars April 18-20 at Gonzaga University. Its theme is “Understanding Hatred, Confronting Intolerance, Eliminating Inequality.”

Butler, the award-winning Georgetown University law professor and former federal prosecutor, is a groundbreaking figure on race and the criminal justice system. The author of “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,” Butler focuses on ordinary people’s encounters with the criminal justice system as jurors, witnesses, and through law enforcement. Butler has presented his insights on such matters as racial profiling and jury nullification in The New York Times, on 60 Minutes, and in other major media.

Levin is a leading authority on how to understand and address hate crimes, domestic terrorism, mass murder, serial killing, and other violence. The Brudnick Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University, Levin co-directs the Center on Violence and Conflict. Levin has authored 30 books and more than 150 articles. He appears frequently in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Huffington Post, and major television news programs.

“The Pursuit of Justice” conference brings together scholars, members of law enforcement, the judiciary, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, experts on public policy and social change, human rights activists, award-winning filmmakers, clergy, and community members. The event provides opportunities to understand and address fear and ignorance of the “other” as these conditions manifest in hatred, intolerance, and inequality, said John Shuford, director of the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies.

Other Conference Highlights

  • “The Pursuit of Justice – Judicial Perspectives,” a special panel of judges and justices from the federal, state, tribal, and local levels, including U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Paez and Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven C. González.
  • “Civil Liberties and the Politics of Hate,” a session with British extremism expert Jon Garland and Terri Givens, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • “Hate Crimes and Justice: What Do Victims Want?” – a talk by “Critical Criminologist of the Year” Barbara Perry, a leading voice on hate crimes against indigenous and immigrant populations.
  • “Race and Criminal Justice” and “Smart Justice” sessions involving Ryan Haygood, director of political participation for the NAACP Legal Education and Defense Fund, Inc., and Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub.
  • “The World Is All Around Us,” a workshop with Lee Mun Wah, the internationally renowned documentary filmmaker, educator, and master diversity trainer.
  • A special screening of the award-winning documentary “Mr. Cao Goes to Washington,” and panel discussion with its director and producer, S. Leo Chiang.

“The Pursuit of Justice” conference marks the centennial anniversary of the Gonzaga University School of Law, the 15th anniversary of the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies, and the 10th anniversary of the Gonzaga Institute’s Journal of Hate Studies, all of which coincide with Gonzaga University’s yearlong 125th anniversary celebration. Conference organizers are the Gonzaga Law School, the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies, and the Washington State Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System.

Click the following link for a complete list of presenters, the conference schedule, and registration information. Direct conference inquiries to conference co-chairs Jason Gillmer and John Shuford via email at hatestudies@gonzaga.edu. Media inquiries should be directed to Mary Joan Hahn at (509) 313-6095 or via email or Peter Tormey at (509) 313-6132 or via email.

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