Professor Jena Martin Speaker in the University of Essex Human Rights Speaker Series

West Virginia University College of Law professor Jena Martin was featured as a speaker in the University of Essex Human Rights Speaker series on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. The series is hosted by the University of Essex Human Rights Centre and the Essex Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub. Professor Martin's talk, titled "Racism and Business & Human Rights" was given with co-authors Erika George and Tara Van Ho. Professors Martin and George, and Dr. Van Ho published Reckoning: A Dialogue about Racism, AntiRacists, and Business & Human Rights in volume 30 of the Washington International Law Journal earlier this year.

From the program description:

Video of George Floyd’s death sparked global demonstrations and prompted individuals, communities and institutions to grapple with their own roles in embedding and perpetuating racist structures. The raison d’être of Business and Human Rights (BHR) is to tackle structural corporate impediments to the universal realization of human rights. Yet, racism, one of the most obvious of such barriers, has been a blind spot for BHR. While the field has contended with gender inequality, there have only been tokenistic nods to intersectional harms caused by business activities. The failure to address racism seriously undermines both the promise of BHR generally and specifically the recognized need to redress intersectional harms experienced by women from racialized backgrounds. In their article ‘Reckoning: A Dialogue about Racism, AntiRacists, and Business & Human Rights,’ Professor Erika George, Professor Jena Martin, and Dr Tara Van Ho entered into a critical discussion on racism in the theory and practice of BHR. The result was both an opening salvo on the intersection of critical race theory and BHR and an identifiable research agenda for future scholarship in the area. In this discussion, the three established BHR scholars will continue their dialogue to consider what BHR needs to do in order to become an antiracist field.

Find more of Professor Martin's scholarship on SSRN and her SelectedWorks scholarship profile.