Legal expert on race next speaker for Presidential Forum on Diversity

Publication Date

Randall Kennedy, a leading scholar on race issues, will speak Wednesday, April 27, at 5 p.m. in the Nott Memorial.

His talk, “The Racial Promised Land? Creating a Racially Just Social Order,” is part of the Presidential Forum on Diversity series. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School, Kennedy earned his A.B. in history from Princeton and attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Kennedy served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S Supreme Court.

He is the author of numerous books, including “For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action and the Law,” “The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency,” “Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal,” “Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity and Adoption” and the controversial bestseller “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”

His book "Race, Crime and the Law" won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 1998 for the work best representing the late politician's commitment to justice.

Kennedy is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is also a member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association. He is a trustee emeritus of Princeton University.

The Presidential Forum on Diversity was established in 2006 by President Stephen C. Ainlay to bring in notable speakers on a wide range of topics that promote diversity and inclusiveness.

Previous speakers have included poet Maya Angelou, journalist and television news anchor John Quiñones, Eugene Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist faith leader Eboo Patel, Broadway star Anthony Rapp, actress Marlee Matlin and Rob King, who oversees ESPN’s SportsCenter.