On Juneteenth (June 19, 2020), the University of Maine School of Law launched a series of conversations which are designed to identify ways to change public policies, amend legal rules, and transform our society by eliminating racial injustice. These virtual forums are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Racial Injustice: Using Racial Impact Statements to Inform Change

April 1, 2021, 6:00 pm, view recording

A racial impact statement, like a fiscal impact statement, is a tool to aid legislators in detecting unintended and unforeseen disparate impacts of proposed legislation prior to adoption and implementation.

LD 2, An Act to Require the Inclusion of Racial Impact Statements in the Legislative Process, has been enacted by the Maine State Legislature and signed by Governor Mills. Maine joins seven other states in requiring racial impact statements.

Distinguished panelists included:

  • Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross, the sponsor of LD 2;
  • Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Professor and Associate Dean, Northeastern University School of Law;
  • Meagan Sway, Policy Director of the Maine ACLU; and
  • Angela Onwauachi-Willig, Dean of Boston University School of Law.

The event was moderated by second-year Maine Law student, Schadrac Joseph.

Racial Injustice: Uplifting Black and Brown Youth Voices to Inspire Change

July 22, 2020, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, view recording

Too often, the youth voice is left out of the critical conversations about how to make change in our society. This forum offered a platform for black and brown youth voices in our community to share their experiences navigating systems of oppression in an effort to build a more anti-racist society and inspire change.

Youth panelists for the event were:

  • Ladislas (Ladi) Nzeyimana, Youth Activist and Organizer with Portland Empowered and Maine Youth Justice (Facilitator)
  • Judicaelle Irakoze, Immigrant and Women’s Rights Activist, Executive Director of Choose Yourself
  • Abdul Ali, Community Activist and Lead Organizer with Maine Youth Justice
  • Jackie Majano, Community and Women’s Rights Activist
  • Gracia Bareti, Community Organizer and Activist, Co-Organizer of Portland’s Juneteenth Rally
  • Fiona Akilo Stawarz, Community and Social Change Activist

Racial Injustice: Reimagining Policing and Public Safety

June 19, 2020, view recording

A panel of state and local leaders discussed specific laws, policies, and resources that could be implemented to change policing and public safety.

Opening Remarks: Governor Janet Mills

Special Guest: Senator Angus King

Moderator: Dean Leigh I. Saufley


  • Representative Rachel Talbot Ross, Maine Legislature
  • Commissioner Mike Sauschuck, Department of Public Safety
  • Micky Bondo, Portland School Board of Education
  • Donna Loring, Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs
  • Professor Christopher Northrop
  • Julia Sleeper, Tree Street Youth

Part Three

The Law School will continue these conversations at a date to be announced.