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  • Writer's pictureCary Martin Shelby

Ethan Allen Faculty Fellowship Recipient for Scholarly Excellence at W&L Law

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

GOOD NEWS ALERT: I am thrilled to announce that I received the Ethan Allen Faculty Fellowship for excellence in scholarship at W&L Law!

DESCRIPTION OF ARTICLE: As I reiterate in this article, “profiting from our pain” is not a new phenomenon. It can be commodified, chopped into pieces, securitized, and offered to the highest bidder. The detailed processes through which this occurs are often obscured from the public’s view under the protection of the law, leading to the creation of even more pain. But with more pain, comes more profit so the cycle can continue with little to no accountability. And the pain intensifies, reverberating across generations. We are left to pick up the pieces while many hold us solely accountable. Of course, the causes of our pain are multifaceted, and not all private actors are bad. Yet, the law that regulates these transactions does little to nothing to help us distinguish the good from the bad, which has become increasingly unbearable. Private ordering has been largely unsuccessful in ensuring that our voices are integrated in these underlying management and decision making processes.

The focal point of this article is social impact investing, but I plan to cover other forms of commodification in my current book project. I am eager to continue plugging away with my brilliant research assistants. I am eternally grateful for the incredible research support that I have received from my institution.

This piece is forthcoming in the California Law Review in 2021, and it is therefore subject to additional rounds of comments and edits. But I was eager to post this draft onto SSRN in light of the profit opportunities that will inevitably arise from the COVID-19 pandemic and the pervasive injustices unveiled by the Black Lives Matters movement. The likelihood of affected community members being excluded from these innovations is unfortunately very high given the current framework of the law. We must continue fighting these battles on all fronts.

After all, "If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it." Zora Neale Hurston. This, I know to be true.

By: Cary Martin Shelby

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