Events & Lectures
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
5:30 PM PST
110 Knight Law Center
Lecturer: A’Lelia Bundles
“Your First Duty Is to Humanity” – Echoes of Derrick Bell in Madam C. J. Walker’s Activism and Entrepreneurship
A’Lelia Bundles, biographer and great-great-granddaughter of early 20th century entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker, discusses how Walker’s political activism and philanthropy informed her mindset of economic independence. As a journalist who links history and current events, she examines the relationship of Walker’s advocacy of generational wealth for her sales agents to the systemic and structural racism that Derrick Bell revealed in Faces at the Bottom of the Well.
Bundles is author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, which chronicles the life of her great-great-grandmother, a self-made millionaire. The New York Times Notable Book served as the inspiration for Self Made, the fictional four-part Netflix series. Walker built her venture the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company during the turn-of-the-twentieth century Jim Crow era, in Indianapolis. She used her enterprise to provide economic opportunity for Black women during a period marked by racial discrimination and sexism.
At work on her fifth book The Joy Goddess of Harlem: A’Lelia Walker and the Harlem Renaissance, Bundles is a former network television news executive and producer at ABC News and NBC News. She is a vice-chair emerita of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees and chair emerita of the board of the National Archives Foundation. She is on the advisory boards of the March on Washington Film Festival, the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, and founder of the Madam Walker Family Archives.
You can watch the recorded event below.
You can also watch an excerpt from her interview with UO Today.
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.
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 DEI and the Office of the President.
Past Bell Lectures
2021 Annual Rennard Strickland Lecture
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
6:00 PM PST
Free and open to the public
"Oil and Gas: An Oklahoma Origin Story and McGirt"
This year's lecture features Dean Emeritus and Professor, Stacy Leeds, from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Leeds is the first Native American female dean and a prominent Indian law trailblazer. She is an experienced leader in law, higher education, governance, economic development, and conflict resolution.
PAC-12 Access to Justice Series
Marcilynn A. Burke, Dean and Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law, speaks with UO’s Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success and author Kimberly Johnson. Johnson’s debut novel, This is My America, will be made into a television series to stream on HBO Max.
Visit the event page for more information and to register to attend.
The Business Law Program welcomed Professor A. Mechele Dickerson, the Arthur L. Moller Chair in Bankruptcy Law and Practice at the University of Texas at Austin, for a noon-hour discussion about racial inequities in the bankruptcy system, including how Black debtors who need bankruptcy relief are disproportionately placed in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is more expensive and burdensome than Chapter 7.
Mechele Dickerson, a nationally recognized scholar on consumer debt, teaches at the University of Texas School of Law and also has a courtesy appointment with the Liberal Arts Honors program at the University of Texas. She is the author of HOMEOWNERSHIP AND AMERICA'S FINANCIAL UNDERCLASS: FLAWED PREMISES, BROKEN PROMISES, NEW PRESCRIPTIONS (Cambridge 2014). Her research focuses on racial income and wealth disparities and she is currently completing a book project on the Neglected Middle Class.
Dickerson teaches Remedies and Federal Civil Procedure at UT Law and is teaching a course this spring on COVID and Financially Vulnerable Americans (which she will teach to undergraduates this fall). Dickerson will also teach a class on COVID and The Law at the law school this fall. Before joining the Texas law faculty, Dickerson was a law faculty member at the College of William and Mary.