Sep. 16, 2022

About the Event

In the next episode of the "We Need to Talk" series, Christine Clark (Teaching and Learning) and Patrice Leverett (Counselor Education, School Psychology, and Human Services) will participate in a panel discussion on Critical Race Theory (CRT). The panel will also include Education Program Lead Jayne Malorni from the Nevada Department of Education and be facilitated by Claytee White, director of the university's Oral History Research Center. 

The discussion, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at the Greenspun Hall Auditorium on UNLV's main campus, will also be live-streamed on the We Need to Talk Webpage and UNLV's Facebook Page.

About CRT

The roots of CRT can be traced back to the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s and 70s when it emerged as a critique of and in direct response to critical legal studies. Today’s CRT advocates work to increase the visibility of the connections between historical and contemporary policies and practices that exacerbate racial inequity in society. Although CRT began as a movement among legal scholars and activist lawyers, it has extended into many disciplines because of its interdisciplinary approach to studying structures of race and racism, and its use of intersectional analysis to explain how racism is inextricably bound up with other forms of oppression.


In preparation for the event, Dr. Clark shared some background in this Q&A session. 

What makes you and other panelists excited to lead this important discussion? 

There is so much controversy around CRT at this moment. This discussion provides an opportunity to clarify what CRT is, correct misunderstandings, and allay public concerns that relate to these misunderstandings. 


What is the driving force behind CRTs recent emergence as a controversial framework in the U.S. media? 

The recent controversy around CRT in the U.S. media has been driven by politicians who stand to benefit from perpetuating and deepening divisions between voters along racial lines. 

What is most important for the public to understand about CRT and its role in education? 

CRT scholars view PK-12 schools as a central institution where we can dismantle institutionalized racism, associated classism, and all other forms of systemic subordination.

What is the relationship between CRT and teaching about race and racism in schools? 

CRT as an academic subject is not taught in PK-12 schools, rather it is generally only taught at the collegiate level and graduate level. That said, teaching about race and racism and other forms of discrimination in schools is a way to dismantle systems of inequity that are the real source of divisions. Students must come to terms with these ugly parts of the nation’s past. It’s the only pathway to effective and durable solutions to racial injustice and to a more fair, equitable, and a free future for all. Instead of fighting each other because of racism, students and families—across race, as well as class, gender, and other dimensions of difference—can learn to work together to fight racism and all other forms of oppression.