The COVID Care Crisis Symposium, Part II: Imagining Solutions & Taking Action

Submitted by Nadia Ahmad on Wed, 06/15/2022 - 07:09

June 16-17, 2022
Virtually on Zoom

The COVID Care Crisis Symposium held in January 2021 convened dozens of scholars to theorize about what the organizers labeled as the unfolding “COVID Care Crisis” and its effects on legal academia. During that two-day event, scholars, teachers, students, and practitioners shared the difficulties of managing the demands of work and the constantly shifting changes to care infrastructures. The Symposium amplified the voices of caregivers and sounded the alarm on how disparities, if left unaddressed, could alter the landscape of academia long into the future and further marginalize women and scholars of color as well as other primary caregiving faculty and staff. 

This second symposium, the Covid Care Crisis Symposium, Part II: Imagining Solutions and Taking Action, seeks to take stock of COVID responses and to re-envision the workplace, to imagine the future of work, and to dream new realities for the academy. For legal academia, and academia more generally, what has changed? And if change has not come, why not? And for the future, what changes can we envision and implement—individually, collectively, and institutionally? The hard work of rebuilding, renewal and re-imagining has begun, and we invite you to join us in naming, theorizing, and building solidarity to meet these challenges.

Topics include the following:

  • What has been the impact on caregivers’ scholarship and knowledge production during the pandemic? What may we have lost in these last two years?
  • What is the “new normal” in academia? What should it be?
  • What lessons about teaching, scholarship, and service have we learned during the pandemic that we can use in the future to make academia more equitable?
  • Has the US learned from the COVID Care Crisis in terms of addressing the needs of families with caregiving responsibilities? What were the international responses that we adopted or failed to adopt?
  • How did border closures, conference cancellations, and uneven global impacts of and responses to the pandemic affect inequalities in the global legal profession? What innovations or lessons from the pandemic can we build on to foster a more diverse and accessible profession in the U.S. and globally?
  • How has the pandemic changed the legal profession, legal institutions, and law schools? How should legal academia respond to or anticipate these changes?
  • In the latter part of the pandemic, we have seen an exodus from work and workplaces; how has this shaped our views of work?
  • How can we measure, memorialize or quantify the negative impacts of the pandemic and the COVID Care Crisis on knowledge production, promotion, and equality, from educational contexts to careers to public and civic participation?
  • What concrete steps did Promotion and Tenure Committees or other campus leadership take to mitigate the impact of the COVID Care Crisis on faculty and staff at all or any levels? What different strategies were used to support legal scholarship, clinical practice, academic support, leadership positions, or other roles? What could have been done better? How can we better support caregivers in these precarious positions going forward?
  • How have things changed or stayed the same for subordinated communities, including those who are in the intersections of race x gender x sexuality in our workplaces?
  • If we could reimagine academia into the ideal workplace, what would that look like? How can we achieve it?

Conference Conveners

Cyra Akila Choudhury, Professor of Law, Florida International University; Founder, Critical Legal Academics and Scholars International Collective (CLASIC) 

Meera E. Deo, The Honorable Vaino Spencer Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School; Affiliated Faculty, American Bar Foundation (ABF); Director, Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE)

Shruti Rana, Senior Assistant Dean, Curricular and Undergraduate Affairs; Diversity Officer; Director, International Law and Institutions Program, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Maurer School of Law

More information is available here.


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