Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Alexander Meiklejohn Lecture ─ Cristian Farias: Everybody Counts: A Decennial Census That Is Fair to All

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

True North Classroom (101), Stephen Robert '62 Hall, 280 Brook Street

Reception to follow.

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Legal affairs journalist Cristian Farias will examine the controversy surrounding recent efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census for this year's Alexander Meiklejohn lecture. He will discuss the centrality of race and racism in how America has approached its constitutional obligation to count every person across the land, and will analyze ongoing efforts to exclude people from the census count on the basis of who they are or where they come from.

The Alexander Meiklejohn Lecture was named for civil libertarian, Brown alumnus, and former Brown dean Alexander Meiklejohn, and focuses on the theme of freedom and the U.S. Constitution. Meiklejohn graduated from Brown in 1893, and served as its dean from 1901 to 1912

Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy

Cristian Farias is a writer-in-residence at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, where he reports and researches issues at the intersection of free expression and the U.S. border. 

Until recently, he was a member of The New York Times’ editorial board, where he wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court, criminal justice, civil rights, and other legal issues. Before that, he was a legal columnist for New Yorkmagazine, a Supreme Court reporter for The Huffington Post, and a legal editor with Radiolab’s More Perfect, a podcast about the Supreme Court. 

Over the years, Cristian’s articles and insights have appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, The New York Review of BooksThe New Republic, Fusion, Fox News Latino, and El Diario, a leading Spanish newspaper in New York. During a prior writing residency, he worked with the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, focusing on racial equality and civil rights history. 

He is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he wrote for the student newspaper, and the City University of New York School of Law, where he served as managing articles editor for the CUNY Law Review and as a fellow with the Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality.