February 23-24, the Justice Center hosted Demetria McCain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as a G. Rollie White Scholar in Residence. During the visit, McCain participated in several events and met with students.
In her role at HUD, McCain assists the department’s efforts to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities. She joined HUD following fifteen years of service, with five as president, at the Inclusive Communities Project (ICP), a Dallas-based affordable fair housing nonprofit with statewide reach. Before joining ICP, McCain worked on rural multifamily housing matters at the National Housing Law Project in Oakland, CA. She was also a staff attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of Washington, D.C., where her portfolio primarily included landlord-tenant matters for low-income renters in private and public housing.
While at the law school, McCain gave an address entitled “Federal Fair Housing Policy in the Biden-Harris Administration.” In her talk, she described the reach of fair housing law and the department’s current initiatives to promote fair housing. The Center for Women in Law and Texas Law’s Office for Equity and Inclusion cosponsored the talk. McCain also met with faculty members and local housing advocates and had lunch with a group of students interested in fair housing.
“It was a pleasure to have Demetria McCain at the law school,” said Justice Center research attorney Helen Gaebler. “Fair housing law touches on so many social justice concerns, from racial and gender equity, economic inequality, and criminal reentry, to community development and disaster recovery. McCain underscored how housing law intersects with many of the issues our students care about. And it was great for students to see how the career arc of a lawyer can include work at legal aid and nonprofit organizations as well as government service.”
McCain’s visit as a G. Rollie White Public Interest Scholar in Residence was supported by a generous gift from the G. Rollie White Trust. The program brings outstanding legal scholars, practitioners, and advocates from the field of public service to Texas Law to foster discussion of issues related to public interest law, to raise the profile of lawyers working in this area, and to encourage students to view public service as an honored and expected part of every legal career. McCain is Texas Law’s tenth G. Rollie White Public Interest Scholar in Residence.