Let’s Talk About Race, featuring Verna Williams, CEO of Equal Justice Works

The 65th annual John R. Coen Lecture is presented by Verna Williams, Equal Justice Works CEO and former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. In this talk, Williams will examine current attacks on and efforts to limit diversity, equity, and inclusion programs given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC. While some State Attorney Generals and politicians would suggest this decision curtails diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs at law firms and companies, Williams suggests that DEI programs continue to be necessary and within the law as we ensure the legal profession represents all people.

Verna brings with her an extensive background of experience teaching and practicing law, as well as researching civil and women’s rights. Verna previously served as the dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was a professor prior to becoming dean, and taught courses on family law, gender discrimination, and constitutional law. Additionally, she founded and co-directed the Judge Nathaniel Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice at the University of Cincinnati.

This lecture series is in the namesake of John Coen, a distinguished member of the Colorado bar and an able public speaker. In 1955, his widow Adrian S. Coen, established the lectureship in his memory. The purpose is to bring a prominent and distinguished lawyer, jurist, or scholar of law to deliver an annual lecture to Colorado Law’s students and faculty on a legal subject of interest and benefit to the profession, preferably with some public or political aspect.

This lecture is co-sponsored by Equal Justice Works. The lecture is from 5:30–6:30 p.m. and a special reception until 7:30 p.m. following the lecture for in-person attendees.


Thursday, Sept. 28 | 5:30–7:30 p.m. MDT

Hybrid (in-person and virtual)

Register at https://cu.law/RegisterCoenLecture

One general CLE credit pending for Colorado Attorneys.

Thursday, September 28 at 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Wolf Law, Wittemyer Courtroom
2450 Kittredge Loop Drive, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type

Lecture/Presentation, Live streams, Virtual


Diversity & Inclusion, Ethics & Leadership, Law & Politics, Strategic Initiatives


Students, Faculty, Alumni, General Public, Graduate Students, Parents/Families, Staff, Postdoc

College, School & Unit

Law School



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