UGA Professor on Critical Race Theory

Jun 3, 2021

Critical Race Theory has been facing challenges recently. Dr. Maria Len-Rios is a professor and associate dean at UGA’s Grady College. She explains what the academic movement is.

UGA professor Dr. Maria Len-Rios
Credit Grady Collge

“Critical Race Theory, at its core, is about equal justice,” according to Lin-Rios. “It asks us to be curious about the relationship between different power structures that we have created in society that create racial inequalities. So it asks us to consider and critique if our laws, the rules in society, or the policies that we have keep inequality in place.”

She says it’s not just taking a look at our history, but also examining where things currently stand.

“It really asks us to look at society today and asks us why do we have inequalities in society in outcomes in different areas of society.”

Len-Rios says race is often a difficult topic to broach.

“It makes people uncomfortable. I mean we can’t forget it was only 60 years ago that the state of Georgia did not allow young, qualified Black men and young, qualified Black women to study at our state land grant institution. And we can’t be scared of addressing the truth of our past, we have to learn from it.”  

You can hear more from Professor Len-Rios on Athens News Matters.