Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

(J.D. Harvard; L.L.M. University of Wisconsin, B.A. Cornell University)

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Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law.  Her articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Crenshaw has lectured widely on race matters, addressing audiences across the country as well as in Europe, India, Africa and South America.

A specialist on race and gender equality, she has facilitated workshops for human rights activists in Brazil and in India, and for constitutional court judges in South Africa. Her groundbreaking work on “Intersectionality” has traveled globally and was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. Crenshaw authored the background paper on Race and Gender Discrimination for the United Nation’s World Conference on Racism, served as the Rapporteur for the conference’s Expert Group on Gender and Race Discrimination, and coordinated NGO efforts to ensure the inclusion of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration.

Crenshaw has worked extensively on a variety of issues pertaining to gender and race in the domestic arena including violence against women, structural racial inequality, and affirmative action.  She has served as a member of the National Science Foundation’s committee to research violence against women and has consulted with leading foundations, social justice organizations and corporations to advance their race and gender equity initiatives.

In 1996, she co-founded the African American Policy Forum to house a variety of projects designed to deliver research-based strategies to better advance social inclusion.  Among the Forum’s projects are the Affirmative Action Research and Policy Consortium and the Multiracial Literacy and Leadership Initiative.  In partnership with the Aspen Roundtable for Community Change, Crenshaw facilitated workshops on racial equity for hundreds of community leaders and organizations throughout the country.  With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, Crenshaw facilitates the Bellagio Project, an international network of scholars working in the field of social inclusion from five continents. Currently, she serves as Committee Chair for the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality, an initiative of the U.S. State Department. A founding member of the Women’s Media Initiative, Crenshaw writes for Ms. Magazine, the Nation and other print media, and has appeared as a regular commentator on “The Tavis Smiley Show,” NPR, and MSNBC.

Twice awarded Professor of the Year at UCLA Law School, Crenshaw received the Lucy Terry Prince Unsung Heroine Award presented by the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, and the ACLU Ira Glasser Racial Justice Fellowship from 2005-07.  Crenshaw has received the Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Latin America, the Alphonse Fletcher Fellowship, and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2009 and a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in 2010. Currently, Crenshaw is the Faculty Director of the Critical Race Studies program at UCLA Law School.

Luke Charles Harris

(B.A., Saint Joseph’s University; J.D., LL.M., Yale University; Ph.D., Princeton University)

Dr. Luke Charles Harris is the former Chair of the Department of Political Science at Vassar College, where he teaches American Politics and Constitutional Law; and the Co-founder of the African American Policy Forum (Policy Forum). The Policy Forum was developed as part of an ongoing effort to promote women’s rights in the context of struggles for racial justice. It is a media-monitoring think-tank and information clearinghouse that works to bridge the gap between scholarly research and public debates on questions of inequality, discrimination and injustice.

Harris earned a B.A. at Saint Joseph’s University, a J.D. and an LL.M at Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Politics at Princeton. He clerked for the late A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., the distinguished legal historian and former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; served for two years as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Warwick, School of Law in Coventry England; for one year as a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Sociology; and for two years as a junior associate in the Litigation Department at Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett in New York City, before beginning his teaching career at Vassar in 1992.

An expert in the field of Critical Race Theory, Harris has authored a series of important essays on questions of racial and gender equality in contemporary America; and was the co-writer and chief consultant for Kathe Sandler’s 1993 award-winning documentary film, A Question of ColorA Question of Color premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and was released theatrically at the Film Forum in New York City before being aired on nationwide TV by PBS in 1994. It is currently being distributed by California NewsReel.

In 2003, Harris supervised and coauthored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the “Committee of Concerned Black Graduates of Accredited Law Schools” in a landmark Supreme Court case: Grutter v. Bollinger (see “Prologue: Brief of Amici Curiae on Behalf of Concerned Black Graduates of ABA Accredited Law Schools,” Michigan Journal of Race and Law 2004). More recently, his ground breaking essay, “Affirmative Action as Equalizing Opportunity: Challenging the Myth of Preferential Treatment,” coauthored with Uma Narayan, was republished in Hugh LaFollette’s, Ethics in Practice, Blackwell Press (Oxford England), 3rd edition, 2006.  For the academic year of 2008/2009, Prof. Harris was nominated a senior fellow at the Stanford Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. During his residency, one of his scholarly projects will be the completion of a book entitled, The Meaning of Equality in “Post-Apartheid” America.


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