The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, will conduct a WEBINAR with the SAINT ANSELM COLLEGE CENTER FOR ETHICS IN BUSINESS AND GOVERNANCE. Sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental

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Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the U.S. and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems – it corrupts our criminal justice system, exacerbates economic inequality, and produces large academic gaps between white and African American schoolchildren. We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregate neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto: the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights. The Color of Law demonstrates, however, that residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-twentieth century that openly subsidized whites-only suburbanization in which African Americans were prohibited from participating. Only after learning the history of this policy can we be prepared to undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape.


Moderator: Sarah Mattson Dustin, Executive Director of NH Legal Assistance

Sarah Mattson Dustin is a legal aid lawyer and the executive director of New Hampshire Legal Assistance, a statewide nonprofit law firm providing civil legal aid to low-income and older people in New Hampshire. Sarah also previously worked at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, where she oversaw the Foundation’s research, advocacy, and leadership development initiatives. Sarah sits on the New Hampshire Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission, was a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association's inaugural Leadership Academy class, and received the 2010 New Hampshire Bar Foundation Robert E. Kirby Award. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees at Harvard.

Panelist 1: Distinguished Guest Dr. Richard Rothstein

Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, which recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogenous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation. He is also the author of many other articles and books on race and education, which can be found on his web page at the Economic Policy Institute: Previous influential books include Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black–White Achievement Gap and Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right. He welcomes questions and comments at

Panelist 2: State Representative Charlotte DiLorenzo

Since 2016, Charlotte DiLorenzo has been a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, representing Rockingham 17. A graduate of University of Massachusetts at Boston in 1982 with a BA in Law, Rep. DiLorenzo began her career as a paralegal before transitioning to a robust professional career in the housing industry. She has extensive experience working in property management and housing compliance, and for seven years served as Commissioner of the Newmarket Housing Authority. As a legislator in New Hampshire, she has been a champion of equity and affordability in housing, earning the 2018 Home Matters NH Award from Housing Action NH.

Panelist 3: Dr. Marie Ramas, Physician and Medical Director of Gatehouse Treatment Center

Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, M.D., is a family physician activist, writer and blogger with nearly a decade of experience practicing full scope family medicine with obstetrics in Nashua, N.H. As the current medical director of GateHouse Treatment Center, she is charged to develop an integrated primary care model for adults with substance use disorder. A 2020 Union Leader 40 Under 40 recipient, Dr. Ramas focuses her passion in promoting health equity as a board of director member of the New Hampshire Academy of Family Physicians asd well as the NH State Health Assessment Advisory Committee, and is a routine guest expert on local radio syndications.

Panelist 4: Ryan Terrell, candidate for NH House of Representatives

Evacuated from New Orleans, La. in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina, Ryan Terrell moved to New Hampshire after receiving an academic scholarship to Southern New Hampshire University's (SNHU) College Unbound, a non-traditional 3-year experiential learning program. As an undergrad, he helped raise over $50,000 for Families in Transition, interned for local businesses, mentored under public & private sector leaders, engaged public school students, and represented SNHU abroad. In October 2019, he founded TRYBE, a textured hair care brand made to increase diversity and inclusion in the professional salon industry. Currently, Ryan is a Project Manager at Evolve Salon Systems, a national hair care distributor, and is running for NH State Representative serving Hillsborough 31.

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