The Inaugural Roy L. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series

The Inaugural Roy L. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series

The University of San Diego is pleased to announce the establishment of the Roy L. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series. 

The Roy L. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series was established in response to the social unrest of 2020 and demonstrated in/by calls from students, alumni, staff and faculty to actively take a stand against anti-Black sentiment. Specifically, the 2020 Black Faculty letter, asked for the establishment of an annual lecture series that would bring an African American scholar to campus.  While the establishment of this lecture series is in direct response to that request,  it also signals the University’s commitment to listen to and improve the experiences of Black Faculty on this campus. The award is named for Professor Roy L. Brooks who has been a longstanding member of our community, an award-winning and engaging teacher, broadly recognized legal scholar, prolific author of legal books & articles, and a respected and distinguished member of the legal profession/community.

Biography of Roy L. Brooks

Roy L. Brooks, JD, is the Warren Distinguished Professor of Law who has earned the rank of University Professor twice. He is a graduate of Yale Law School where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. After law school, Professor Brooks clerked for a federal judge and practiced corporate law on Wall Street before being recruited to the university in 1979 by then-Provost, Sister Sally Furay. He was awarded tenure by the law school faculty after his second year of teaching. Professor Brooks has taught Corporations, Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Legal Writing, Civil Procedure, Civil Process and Employment Discrimination. Currently he teaches Jurisprudence, Civil Rights Theory, International Human Rights, Reparations and Discrimination Law & Diversity. 

Professor Brooks is the author of well over 100 articles and more than 20 books (monographs, casebooks, a textbook and an anthology), including Diversity Judgments: Democratizing Judicial Legitimacy, published by Cambridge University Press; The Racial Glass Ceiling: Subordination in American Law and Culture, published by Yale University Press; Integration or Separation? A Strategy for Racial Equality, published by Harvard University Press; Racial Justice in the Age of Obama, published by Princeton University Press; Atonement and Forgiveness: A New Model for Black Reparations, published by University of California Press; and The Law of Discrimination: Cases and Perspectives (with Gilbert Carrasco and Michael Selmi), published by Lexis/Nexis. Professor Brooks has received three national book awards, USD Law School’s Thorsnes Prize for Excellence in Scholarship four times and its Thorsnes Prize for Excellence in Teaching three times. He has also received several awards for his service in support of civil and human rights, including the Thurgood Marshall Award and the Virgil Hawkins Award. He has also served as a member of a Presidential Commission. 

Early in his career, Professor Brooks was a member of the planning committee that convened a legendary conference of scholars of color. Meeting in San Francisco, this conference produced a set of seminal documents that gave shape to what would become Critical Race Theory (CRT). Derrick Bell (the “father of CRT”), Richard Delgado, Charles Lawrence, Rachel Moran and other pioneers of CRT served on the planning committee. Professor Brooks was in the room where it happened. 

Along with Harvard Law School’s Charles Ogletree and renowned criminal lawyer Johnnie Cochran, Professor Brooks filed a complaint seeking reparations for the victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. He has argued in South Korea on behalf of the “Comfort Women” who sought reparations from the Japanese government for World War II atrocities; testified before the California Task Force on Reparations; and served as honorary chair of the national collegiate championship debates on reparations. 

Professor Brooks has spoken on legal theory, civil rights and reparations at the National Press Club, the New York Historical Society, the Danish Institute of Human Rights and many other esteemed venues in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has appeared on all the major news and cable networks in the country and has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Morehouse and many other universities as well as numerous civic, professional and government organizations.

Inaugural Speaker for the Roy F. Brooks Distinguished Lecture Series,

Dr. Derrick R. Brooms

Derrick R. Brooms, PhD, serves as a Professor of Africana Studies and Sociology and is a Fellow in the Center for the Study of Social Justice at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Brooms also serves as a Senior Research Associate for the California State University’s Young Men of Color Consortium, is a scholar-activist, and serves as a youth worker as well. Through research, teaching, service, and community/collaborative work, Dr. Brooms is committed to educational equity, inclusion, and racial justice. Dr. Brooms’ research primarily centers on Black men’s and boys’ pathways to and through college, as well as on their engagement on campus and identity development. He also examines Black boys’ and men’s lived experiences and representations in the media, as well as the collegiate experiences of Black and Latino men.


Kristina Garland