About the COVID-19 Working Group

Welcome to the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law (BCCE) working group on Covid-19 and Equality. The working group was formed in April 2020 at the initiative of David Oppenheimer. We are almost 200 researchers, educators, activists, practitioners, public and private employees working in fields such as law and healthcare, concerned with the repercussions of Covid-19 on equality. The Working Group has six hubs covering Covid-19 and inequalities as related to gender, LGTBQIA. disabilities, race, intersectionality and social and economic rights respectively.

Social Media

The Covid-19 Working Group is using the Slack application within the working group for communication, dissemination and organization at The Working Group has the Twitter hashtag #CovidEquality.

Working Group Activities

The Covid-19 Working Group’s main activities to date have been flash conferences, Lockdown Inequalities (1 July 2020), Domestic workers & how the COVID-19 pandemic has infringed upon their social and economic rights (16 July 2020), Racial Inequalities (20 August 2020) and Disability Rights and Workplace Discrimination in the Time of COVID-19 (22 September 2020). Flash conferences on issues of inequalities, Covid-19 in the contexts of LGTBQIA rights, age and intersectionality are in the planning stages.

Many of the Covid-19 working group members are instructors in a course given through the University of California, Berkeley, COVID-19 and Global Inequalities. The course is offered digitally at several law schools spanning the globe with students from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Planned Future Activities

The BCCE is planning its annual conference to be held digitally in June 2020 the University of Cape Town. We are planning on a digital half-day in the conference to focus on the work of the Covid-19 Working Group. A call for papers will be sent to the Working Group members in the late fall 2020.

Kickoff Event

Lockdown Inequalities Flash Conference

About Us


  • Portrait of Karen O'Connell

    Karen O'Connell

    Dr Karen O’Connell is an expert in discrimination law, particularly sex and disability discrimination, and biotechnologies of the body, neuroscience and genetics. She is experienced in law reform, policy development and managing large research projects. With Professor Isabel Karpin she holds an Australia Research Council grant on “The Legal Regulation of Behaviour as a Disability” (2015-2018).

  • Portrait of Laura Carlson

    Laura Carlson

    Laura Carlson is a professor of private law at Stockholm University. Carlson specializes in employment and labor law, gender, discrimination, academic freedom and critical legal theories. She was the 2014/2015 Stockholm Centre Oxford Fellow, University of Oxford, and has a J.D. Stockholm University (2007), Jur.Kand. Uppsala University (2000), J.D. University of Minnesota (1991) and B.A. Carleton College (1983). Carlson is the Editor-in-Chief, Brill Research Perspectives in Comparative Discrimination Law and a BCCE board member. Carlson’s books include The Fundamentals of Swedish Law (2019), Workers, Collectivism and the Law: Grappling with Democracy (2018), Comparative Discrimination Law: Historical and Theoretical Frameworks, Brill (2017) and Searching for Equality: Sex Discrimination, Parental Leave and the Swedish Model with Comparisons to EU, UK and US law (2007).

Student Assistants