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Professor Teressa Ravenell Shares Civil Rights Expertise In Response to Death of George Floyd


On June 5, Teressa Ravenell, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor of Law, participated in A History of Violence: Institutional Racism in Our Criminal Legal System which was organized in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. The discussion was organized by the American Constitution Society, the National Bar Association and the Society of American Law Teachers.

Ravenell, a known expert on federal civil rights litigation against police officials, was selected to participate in the panel along with legal experts from around the country. Attended virtually by more than 1,000 participants, the discussion focused on the institutional and systemic racism within the criminal legal system that leads to disproportionate police violence against black and brown people. The conversation also included discussion on the protesters who demand change and the ways it can be addressed.

“As a Civil Rights and Police Conduct scholar my work is about violence, injustice, constitutional violations and immunities,” said Ravenell. “It can be disheartening. Yet, I find peace in my work. That peace comes from the hope that I can generate a change. And I truly believe we are on the precipice of great change—particularly in the context of police reform.”

Ravenell joined Villanova Law in 2006 and began serving as Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development in 2019. She teaches Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Civil Rights Litigation, and Police Conduct. Ravenell's scholarship focuses on section 1983, the federal civil remedy for constitutional deprivations, and examines the points at which section 1983 jurisprudence converges with other areas of the law. She is an expert on qualified immunity, municipal liability, and federal civil rights litigation against police officials. Ravenell held industry positions as an associate with Wilmer, Cutler, & Pickering in Washington DC and she clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the United Stated District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Prior to joining Villanova Law, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at William and Mary Law School. Ravenell received her BA from the University of Virginia and her JD from Columbia University School of Law. 

Visit the ACS site to listen to a recording of the conversation.