Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at SF State

Monday, September 17, 2018 (All day) to Tuesday, September 18, 2018 (All day)
Image of hands gripping red stripes in American flag
As part of a nationwide celebration commemorating the 231st anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, San Francisco State presents a two-day conference providing opportunities to reflect critically on the past, present and future of constitutional rights, freedoms, citizenship, democracy, equality and justice. Free.
College of Liberal & Creative Arts
Marc Stein
Event extras: 

Some of the most polarizing national discussions of 2017 and 2018 — about racialized policing, immigration restriction, sanctuary cities, health care, sexual harassment, LGBT rights, hate speech and gun control — have been framed as matters of constitutional meaning and significance. Just as important and revealing are the constitutional topics that much of the country has not been considering, including the rights of indigenous, colonized, incarcerated and institutionalized peoples on lands claimed and controlled by the United States.

What did the U.S. Constitution say and do in the past and what does it say and do today? Has it produced, preserved and promoted social hierarchies or has it supported the expansion of citizenship, democracy, and equality? What does the Constitution reveal and obscure? Is the United States experiencing constitutional crises? Have the country’s recent political troubles exposed longstanding problems with the U.S. constitutional “order”? Can the history of the U.S. Constitution serve as a resource for people troubled by today’s uses and abuses of U.S. power and politics? For those seeking social change, is the Constitution an opportunity or obstacle? Can and should it be followed, changed, modified or abandoned? Who makes meaning out of the U.S. Constitution and what meanings are made of it? What are the implications of our interpretations and transformations of the U.S. Constitution?

Keynote speakers

  • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emerita of ethnic studies, California State University, East Bay. “How the Second Amendment Reveals White Nationalism.” September 17, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Cesar Chavez Student Center, Jack Adams Hall
  • Ian F. Haney López, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law, University of California, Berkeley. “The Future of Whiteness: Dog Whistle Politics or Cross-Racial Solidarity?” September 18, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Chavez Student Center, Jack Adams Hall