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American Bar Foundation to Host Virtual Fireside Chat on Policing and Protests

August 12, 2020, Press releases

CHICAGO, Aug.12, 2020 — During a defining moment of nationwide protests and calls for police reform, the American Bar Foundation (ABF) will host a virtual fireside chat on policing and protests. This national online event, presented in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, and with support from the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, will take place on August 20, 2020, at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT.

The event will feature an exclusive dialogue between ABF Executive Director Ajay K. Mehrotra and ABF Research Professor Traci Burch. Burch is a political scientist and an international expert on criminal justice, political inequality, and social policy.

The conversation will center on Burch’s longstanding research on the political and social impact of problematic policing, including her current ABF project which explores the relationship between police shootings and political participation. Her present project uses rigorous empirical evidence to investigate how aggressive policing tactics and lethal force affect voter turnout and political protests. 

In this critical moment, serious and sophisticated research can help speak truth to power regarding all forms of structural racism and institutional inequality,” said ABF Executive Director Mehrotra. “I look forward to this significant and constructive dialogue with Professor Burch. Her innovative and influential research is a great example of the ABF’s timely and impactful research.”

Peggy A. Davis, Vice President of Community Impact for The Chicago Community Trust, will deliver remarks during the event regarding the Trust’s strategic focus on addressing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. 

“The Chicago Community Trust is delighted to partner again with the American Bar Foundation,” said Davis. “It is time to shine a light on the systemic issues that are devastating our communities and begin advocating for positive change.”

“Throughout our history, the ABF has been at the forefront of using the power of ideas to confront racial injustice and social inequality,” said ABF President David S. Houghton. “Through their research, ABF faculty continue to address some of society’s most daunting dilemmas. Their voices and scholarship reflect the ABF’s core values, ideals, and commitments.”

Media can register for the fireside chat through this link:

Event Details:

Virtual Fireside Chat on Policing and Protests

August 20, 2020

6:00 PM ET/ 5:00 PM CT/ 4:00 PM MT/ 3:00 PM PT

For more information on the event:

This event requires registration. To register for the event:

About Traci Burch:

Traci Burch is a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. She is the author of Trading Democracy for Justice: Criminal Convictions and the Decline of Neighborhood Political Participation (University of Chicago Press), which received multiple awards. She is also coauthor of Creating a New Racial Order, published by Princeton University Press. Her work has appeared in several peer reviewed journals, including Political Behavior, Law and Society Review, and Criminology and Public Policy. 

About Ajay K. Mehrotra:

Ajay K. Mehrotra is the Executive Director and a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation and Professor of Law at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. His scholarship and teaching focus on legal history, tax law, and diversity and inclusion in legal education and the profession.

About Peggy A. Davis:

Peggy A. Davis is vice president of community impact for The Chicago Community Trust, responsible for programmatic leadership and grant making that reflect the organization’s commitment to service. In this role, she provides leadership integrating services to better connect donors with expertise and local knowledge to power more meaningful philanthropy.

About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world's leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. An independent, nonprofit organization for more than 65 years, the ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes and legal institutions. To further this mission, the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.


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