Professors Jeremiah Ho and CJ Vachon, and third-year law student Jessica Cruzatti-Flavius each presented today at a faculty workshop on civil rights issues. The three vetted with their faculty colleagues research and presentations that are planned for future academic conferences. The research all derived from the common theme of gender and sexual-identity equality. The workshop program was sponsored by the Law Faculty Development Committee and attended by the law school faculty and two representatives of the UMass Law Review Editorial Board, Ethan Dazelle and Felicia Carboni.
Professor Vachon presented on the subject, "Know your ADCs: Exploring a for-profit, philanthropic partnership in Rwanda for women." In April 2016, Professor Vachon researched a unique, quasi-philanthropic partnership in Rwanda between Kate Spade, LLC, a US for-profit fashion company, and a Rwandan women’s cooperative known as ADC. In her presentation, she detailed the partnership and highlighted its unique qualities, analyzing it from the perspective of U.S. business ethics and the governance law of limited liability companies.
Professor Ho presented on the subject, "The politics of respect and dignity in sexual orientation antidiscrimination post-Obergefell v. Hodges." The recent national achievement of marriage equality furthered the rights of same-sex couples. Professor Ho explained that despite that progress, the Supreme Court marriage cases shifted the framing of gay rights from the politics of respect that appeared more than a decade ago in Lawrence v. Texas toward a regressive politics of respectability. Professor Ho located this regression and proposed that larger advances for sexual orientation antidiscrimination require framing gay rights within a dignity rights structure that revives the politics of respect.
Ms. Cruzatti-Flavius presented on the subject, "Right to a name." Name erasure and identity rebranding are common pimp and broker strategies to maximize wealth and minimize risk. Through the lens of sex-trafficking victimization, Cruzatti-Flavius characterized this misconduct as an informational harm to a person’s fundamental right to a name. She proposed that the right to a name, as implied in article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, concerning respect for private and family life, supports a cause of action against name erasure and identity rebranding. Cruzatti-Flavius will make this presentation next week in England, at the UK Institute for Advanced Legal Studies Information Law & Policy Centre conference, "Restricted and redacted: Where now for human rights and digital information control?" Her independent legal research project is under the supervision of Professor Peltz-Steele, who chairs the Law Faculty Development Committee.