About the Symposium

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Presented by the Michigan Journal of Race & Law, "A More Human Dwelling Place: Reimagining the Racialized Architecture of America" was a symposium which took place on February 16 and 17 at the University of Michigan Law School.

Over two days, we examined five archetypal spaces in America: homes and neighborhoods, schools, courthouses, prisons, and borders. The symposium considered the ways in which these spaces have become increasingly racialized, diagnosed how that racialization impedes their basic functioning, and reimagined these spaces at their best, and our world as a more human dwelling place. James Baldwin gave us this name, embedded in his imperative “to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through vast forests, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.”

The symposium brought together individuals working to better these spaces, hailing from many disciplines, including law, history, sociology, journalism, literature, architecture, urban planning, and visual art. Together, we tried to conceptualize forgotten or not yet dreamed of alternatives. Through discussions of projects already realized and ideas not yet concrete, we collectively inched toward the world we wish to inhabit.