Widener Law launches new online journal dedicated to law, race and economics in America
Public Relations - Published: April 7, 2008
wjler screenshotWidener Law today launched a new online journal dedicated to the intersection of the law, race, and economics in America. Conceived and organized by three students, The Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race is the first project to be published jointly by Widener’s two law campuses in Wilmington, Del. and Harrisburg, Pa. The web address is www.wjler.org.

The idea for the journal was born after students Robert L. Hawkins Jr., Tamika A. Crawl-Bey and Dana D. Griffin read the 2005 report “Race and Incarceration in Delaware: A preliminary consideration,” published by the Delaware Department of Justice and the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. The study showed Delaware, the nation’s second-smallest state, had one of the country’s highest incarceration rates, that inmate populations were disproportionately African-American and that the racial disparity trend was rising.

They created a journal designed to be a forum for discourse on issues of race and economics. It is also hoped to be a resource for policymakers who work toward a more fair, just and equitable world. Today’s launch date was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Tamika, Dana and I wanted to combine our legal training with our passion for finding solutions to the seemingly intractable issues of racial injustice and economic disparity in America. Our goal was to create a publication that wouldn't espouse a conservative or liberal point of view but encourage multiple points of view from scholars, practitioners and students,” said Hawkins, an evening law student who also works as vice president and general manager of Claimant Management Systems, LLC. “We are excited that our vision for the journal is coming to fruition.”

Site content currently includes video footage of the Dean’s Leadership Forum on Diversity in State Government, held March 17 on Widener’s Harrisburg campus, which included remarks from Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, former Philadelphia Mayor John Street and former Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams. The site also features the October 2007 keynote address by Juan Williams of National Public Radio, given at the Pennsylvania Bar Association diversity summit.

The journal is accepting written submissions for publication. Guidelines can be found on the site.

Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons called the publication a national journal that is “the first of its kind,” given its online approach, two-state production nature and progressive subject matter.

“I am thrilled to be able to introduce a new dual-campus law journal,” Ammons said. “This is an opportunity to broaden the dialogue on diversity while creating additional academic opportunities for Widener students, and it is another example of Widener’s commitment to enriching the communities we serve.”

The students were assisted in their endeavor by Associate Professor Nathaniel C. Nichols and Professor Serena M. Williams, on Widener’s Delaware campus, and Associate Professor J. Palmer Lockard II and Legal Writing Professor Amanda L. Smith on the Harrisburg campus.

Widener Law is grateful to James Maron and Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson for their generous sponsorship of the journal’s launch. Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson P.A. (MMBA) was founded in 1996 and concentrates its litigation practice in the areas of complex toxic tort, environmental, products liability, securities and commercial litigation.