Civil rights lawyer Nancy Erika Smith ’77, most famous for her role in the sexual harassment lawsuit that led to the firing of Roger Ailes from Fox News, will join a panel of social justice experts to explore whether the law is a meaningful instrument of social justice .
Smith, who received an undergraduate degree in social work from Montclair State in 1977 before earning a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers Law School in 1980, spoke as a distinguished alumnus in early 2021 of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She told the graduates: “Every day I try to change the world: fight racism, sexism, misogyny, Islamophobia, xenophobia and just plain hate. … Do your best every day. Try to make the world a better place.
Every year since 1986, Smith has been listed as an expert in labor litigation in “Best Lawyers in America”. In April 2009, she was named one of New Jersey’s Top Ten Lawyers by Superlawyers.
The round table of October 14, Is the law a tool of social justice? will be moderated by Nikki Rooms, Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at Williston Northampton School, and also includes an author, legal commentator, blogger, social justice advocate and professor of justice studies Jessica henri, and co-editor of Black Males and the Criminal Justice System and Justice Studies Associate Professor Jason williams, both at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Panelists will explore how the law, in the United States and around the world, has been used for social change, social justice and the strengthening of democracy, but also to support injustice, inequality, discrimination and even an authoritarian regime. They will grapple with whether the law is a means to promote social justice and a tool to heal American democracy in an era of heightened polarization, or to preserve injustice and block meaningful social change.
Dated: Thursday October 14
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Site: School of Communication and Media, Presentation Room (the event will be broadcast live)
Registration: This event is free and open to the public. Registration is compulsory.