|October 29, 2008|
Noted civil rights attorney Lani Guinier to speak Nov. 12
Lani Guinier, civil rights attorney and Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
Noted civil rights attorney and author Lani Guinier, the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will speak Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Nott Memorial.
The talk, part of the Presidential Forum on Diversity series, is free and open to the public.
Guinier’s discussion will touch on her memoir, “Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice.” She wrote the book after President Bill Clinton nominated her to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in 1993. Her name, however, was withdrawn without a confirmation hearing when her views on proportional democratic representation and voter participation stirred controversy.
Before becoming Harvard Law’s first black woman with a tenured professorship in 1998, Guinier spent 10 years as a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During the 1980s, she was head of the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and served in the Civil Rights Division during the Carter administration.
Besides "Lift Every Voice," Guinier is the author of many well-respected works. Research she conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, led to the publication of “Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change.” Guinier and her co-authors of the book found that women were not graduating with top honors – despite the fact that women and men came to school with virtually identical credentials.
A graduate of Radcliffe College of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Guinier has received numerous awards. Her honors include the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the Champion of Democracy Award, the Rosa Parks Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action and the 2002 Sacks-Freund Teaching Award from Harvard Law School.
She is the recipient of honorary degrees from a number of schools, including Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College and the University of the District of Columbia.