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Anti-racism in the US and Australia: a moment of change

Join US politics expert David Smith, human rights lawyer Roxanne Moore and former Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane as they examine systemic racism, state power and violence.

Update (Monday 15 June, 2020)

This event has been rescheduled for next week and we will advise the new time shortly. Register for the event if you’d like to be notified about the new time and details on how to join live on the day.


The recent death of African-American man, George Floyd, has reverberated worldwide and reignited a focus on issues of race and police brutality. In the United States, people aren’t backing down. Momentum for the Black Lives Matter movement is gaining ground.

In Australia, it’s sparked a long overdue conversation about Australia’s own track record of Indigenous deaths in custody and our high rates of Indigenous incarceration.

Is this a tipping point for unresolved racial inequalities? What does it take to change the system?  

The speakers

David Smith is a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney. He is jointly appointed between the United States Studies Centre and the School of Social and Political Sciences. He has a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Sydney.

David's research examines political relations between states and minorities, with a focus on religion in the US. His book Religious Persecution and Political Order in the United States was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.

Roxanne Moore is a Noongar woman and human rights lawyer from Margaret River in Western Australia. She is the Executive Officer for the National Peak body on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS). Previously, Roxanne was an Indigenous Rights Campaigner with Amnesty International Australia and Principal Advisor to Change the Record Coalition.  

Roxanne has worked for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, as Principal Associate to the Hon Chief Justice Wayne Martin AC QC; as a commercial litigator; and has international experience with UNHCR Jordan and New York University’s Global Justice Clinic. Roxanne studied law at the University of WA, and completed an LLM (International Legal Studies) at NYU, specialising in human rights law, as a 2013 Fulbright Western Australian Scholar.

Tim Soutphommasane is Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory). He is also Director, Culture Strategy at the University.

A political theorist and human rights advocate, from 2013 to 2018 Tim was Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner. His thinking on patriotism, multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in debates in Australia and Britain.

How to tune in to the conversation

We're hosting a free webinar session. Register to get an email with details on how you can join on the day.

We're recording this conversation so it will be available on our podcast. A transcript will also be available. Check back this page later.


Event image: Black Lives Matter protest in Washington DC (1 June 2020). Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

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