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Richard T. Ford

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5 out of 5

Expert on Civil Rights & Anti-Discrimination Law

Expert on Civil Rights & Anti-Discrimination Law

Travels From Travels From:
San Francisco, CA, USA
Speaking Fee Speaking Fee:

Richard T. Ford Biography

Richard Thompson Ford is the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.

He writes for both scholarly and popular audiences and has published in newspapers and journals such the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Boston Review, and Slate as well in such scholarly journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.

His latest book, "Dress Codes: how the laws of fashion made history" received highly positive reviews worldwide in journals such as The New York Times where it was selected as an editor’s choice, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Slate, The Guardian and The South China Press. It has been translated into five languages and is the inspiration for an Editor’s Choice Ted Talk for 2021.

Two of his other books were selected as Notable Books of the year by the New York Times: "The Race Card: how bluffing about bias makes race relations worse" which The New York Times Sunday Book Review selected as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2008 and "Rights Gone Wrong: how law corrupts the struggle for equality," which The New York Times selected as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011. He has appeared on national television and radio programs including "The Colbert Report," the "Rachel Maddow Show," "The New Yorker Radio Hour" and "All Things Considered." He was the co-host with Joe Bankman of the Sirius XM Radio program "Stanford Legal" from 2020-2022.

He has been a visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School and Columbia Law School and has lectured in 12 countries on five continents. He has practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster, served as a Commissioner of the San Francisco Housing Authority and worked as a policy consultant for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the City and County of San Francisco, California and the County of San Mateo, California. In 2012, ON BEING A BLACK LAWYER, selected Ford as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in the OBABL Power 100.

He a founding member of the Academic Freedom Alliance, a member of the American Law Institute, a board member of the Author’s Guild Foundation and a 2022-2024 Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Richard T. Ford Speaking Topics

  • The Race Card: The Clash of Ends

    The practical goals of civil rights are contested. During the Jim Crow era, anti-racists agreed that the goal was to dismantle explicitly discriminatory practices and formally enforced segregation. But it wasn't clear whether the ultimate goal was to achieve formal legal equality, economic equality or whether there was a more substantive commitment to social integration. With blatant discrimination on the wane, it's become obvious that anti-racists don't agree on the ultimate goal: mainstream liberals favor social integration, but black nationalists and some multiculturalists reject integration in favor of racial solidarity and cultural autonomy.

    When the ultimate goal is contested, it can be hard to tell what furthers racial justice and what hinders it. For instance, affirmative action is inconsistent with formal equality but it furthers economic equality and integration; separate ethnic and racial organizations and clubs promote solidarity and cultural autonomy but violate norms of equality and cut against social integration. This can produce a Catch-22 where any course of action will be "racist" according to someone. I call this problem the clash of ends. This lecture will look at conflict over the ultimate goals of the civil rights movement.

  • The Race Card: Racism By Analogy

    The success of the civil rights movement inspired a host of other groups to frame their struggles in similar terms. Feminists, gays and lesbians, the disabled and the elderly are just a few of the groups who have successfully made explicit analogies to the cause of racial justice. Conservatives attacked affirmative action as "reverse racism."

    Multiculturalism redefined racism as aversion or prejudice based, not on skin color or heredity, but on "culture." And host of interest groups, such as dog owners, the obese, and cigarette smokers have implausibly but insistently compared their causes to the struggle against racism. At best, these claims seek to extend the principles underlying civil rights to new situations. But at worst, these claims seem to define "bigotry" so broadly that the losing side of almost any social or political conflict can claim to be the victims of racism-like bias. Today almost anyone can play the race card because of the explosion of claims of racism by analogy.

  • The Race Card: Racism Without Racists

    When people complain of racism, it's typical to assume there must be a blameworthy racist who should be made to pay. But many of today's racial injustices are not caused by simple prejudice; instead, they are the legacies of the racial caste system of our recent past, entrenched by the inertia of class hierarchy and reinforced by the unforgiving competition of capitalist markets. As a result, many people have legitimate grievances, but no racist to blame for them. The victims of the injustices will correctly blame racism, but too often they will incorrectly try to find someone to label a racist. Skeptical observers who see no racists will conclude that the complaint is unreasonable and perhaps dishonest. Today, one of the most pressing social justice issues is the problem of racism without racists.

    This lecture will examine the phenomenon of racism without racists. In pursuit of this idea Professor Ford will take you to storm damaged parishes of the Big Easy, the mean streets of New York and the fashionable boutiques of Paris's Rive Droite. Was Hurricane Katrina a racial justice issue? When a Yellow Cab ignores a black man's hail, is it racism? If store clerk is surly to a black customer, can we conclude that she's a bigot?

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  • What topics does Richard T. Ford speak about?

    Richard T. Ford is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Activism, Authors, Black History, College, Culture, Diversity, Innovation, Law, Literary, Political, Social Justice, Speakers by Industry, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Richard T. Ford travel from?

    Richard T. Ford generally travels from San Francisco, CA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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Richard T. Ford is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as The Race Card: The Clash of Ends, The Race Card: Racism By Analogy and The Race Card: Racism Without Racists. The estimated speaking fee range to book Richard T. Ford for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. Richard T. Ford generally travels from San Francisco, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Clayborne Carson, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Dr. Bernice King. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Richard T. Ford for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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