Penn State law dean to explore creating a just and multiracial democracy

January 23, 2023 - 5:00am

A nationally known expert in entrepreneurship and intellectual property law will visit the UO to give the annual Derrick Bell Lecture in February.

Danielle M. Conway is the dean and Donald J. Farage professor of law at Penn State Dickinson Law and a leader in procurement law, entrepreneurship, intellectual property law and licensing intellectual property. Her talk will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Room 110 of the UO’s Knight Law Center.

Conway’s address is titled “Practicing Antiracism Unapologetically: Using Professor Derrick Bell’s thesis of the permanence of racism as inspiration for ‘Building an Antiracist Law School, Legal Academy, and Legal Profession.’”

“Derrick Bell’s thesis of the permanence of racism and his theory of interest convergence are often viewed through a lens of pessimism and linearity,” Conway said. “I have chosen to read Professor Derrick Bell’s thesis and theory as a challenge to ideate, prototype and test solutions for a more just and equal multiracial American democracy that will tap into the law’s emancipatory power.”

The Derrick Bell Lecture is a collaboration between the University of Oregon School of Law and the Division of Equity Inclusion. The lecture is a part of the African American Workshop and Lecture Series, sponsored by the UO’s Division of Equity and Inclusion and the Office of the President.

For more information on the talk, visit the UO School of Law website. A link to a livestream of the event is available on the website.

Conway joined Dickinson Law after serving for four years as dean of the University of Maine School of Law and 14 years on the faculty of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she was the inaugural Michael J. Marks Distinguished Professor of Business Law.

Derrick Bell served as the first African American dean of the School of Law from 1980 to 1985. He is considered one of the most influential voices in the foundation of Critical Race Theory, a framework that examines society and culture as they connect to race, law, and power.