Carla Pratt Recognized for Work on Antiracist Clearinghouse Project

The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) has presented the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award to the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project. The Project, launched in June 2020, was created by Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law Danielle M. Conway of Penn State Dickinson Law, Danielle Holley-Walker of Howard University School of Law, Kimberly Mutcherson of Rutgers Law School, Angela Onwuachi-Willig of Boston University School of Law, Carla D. Pratt of Washburn University School of Law, and Elizabeth Frankel. Serving as a resource for law deans, faculty and the public, the Project contains information related to addressing racism in law and legal education.

The M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award recognizes the contributions of individuals or groups who are tireless advocates for social justice, human rights, equality and justice. The award is named after a CUNY Law School professor who dedicated her life to these principals and worked for social justice domestically and internationally. In her memory, SALT honors those who believe in fighting for a better world. The M. Shanara Gilbert Award is not awarded annually, but is only bestowed when an exceptional individual, people, group, or organization make significant contributions that warrant recognition.

Photograph: Carla Pratt.Dean Pratt engages in scholarship examining racial diversity in law school and the legal profession. She is one of 14 law school deans who co-authored the book Beyond Imagination? The January 6 Insurrection. The book examines the causes and effects of January 6 from a legal perspective, so that the nation can move forward, with a commitment to the rule of law and loyalty to the Constitution. She is co-author of the book, The End of the Pipeline: A Journey of Recognition for African Americans Entering the Legal Profession, which reports the findings of a qualitative study of African American attorneys and challenges the assumption that blacks entering the profession today have a post-racial colorblind journey. In her most recent research project Dean Pratt partnered with Professor Eboni Nelson and Dr. Ronald Pitner at the University of South Carolina. The resulting article in the Iowa Law Review, "Assessing the Viability of Race-Neutral Alternatives in Law School Admissions," explores the potential for race neutral law school admissions. The findings from the study aim to enhance law schools' understanding of race-neutral admissions factors that may or may not contribute to their ability to assemble a racially diverse student body, and gives law schools the tools to experiment with trying to yield a racially diverse class without asking applicants about their race.