College of Law Event Joins Dots Between Eliminating Racism
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Excellence College of Law Event Joins Dots Between Eliminating Racism and Achieving Sustainable Societies

Black Lives Matter and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals provide context for discussion at HBKU

Black Lives Matter and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set the scene for a recent discussion organized by the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU). 

Taking place on September 9, Racism, Sustainability and the Law drew on legal practices and principles to explain why eliminating racism is essential to developing sustainable societies as envisioned by the SDGs. Guest speakers addressed how stakeholders in the public and private sectors can achieve the SDGs by protecting the fundamental dignity of all members of society. In this respect, proceedings were primarily informed by Goal 10 of the SDGs, which calls for the reduction of inequality within and among countries. 

Racism, Sustainability and the Law featured an eclectic mix of experts from diverse backgrounds, including Dr. Amal Al Malki, Founding Dean of HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She was joined by Dean Adrien Wing, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law. A private sector perspective was provided by Deborah Majoras, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary for The Procter & Gamble Company. The lecture was chaired by Dr. Damilola Olawuyi, College of Law Associate Professor who is an expert on legal aspects of the SDGs. Dr. Damilola provided substantive remarks at the outset of the session that put the SDGs in their appropriate legal context.

Speaking after the discussion, Susan L. Karamanian, Dean of the College of Law, said: “The timing of this event could not have been more appropriate. Black Lives Matter has prompted lively discussions about racism and efforts to tackle racial inequality. Equality and dignity are defining features of the SDGs. Not only did our panelists effectively join the dots between two seemingly contrasting initiatives, they also reminded us of the equally important role that public and private sector stakeholders have in creating fair and just societies.”

Against the backdrop of the webinar, Dr. Amal Al Malki commented that “racism is one of the first epidemics that have plagued humanity. Created and circulated by humans and perpetuated by systems they have established to build false sense of prominence of some, and dominance over others. Racism is integrated in the cultural and social systems, that it has become neutralized and normalized for those who practice it but never for those whom it targets.”

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