Skip to main content

Women and the Law Conference 2010

April 30, 2010

Twenty years ago, Professor Kimberle Crenshaw articulated the new idea of intersectionality, in her groundbreaking article “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Law and Politics.” In her article, she described how women of color face unique challenges created by their place at the intersection of multiple types of subordination. Intersectionality introduced a new conceptual framework for better understanding the vulnerabilities created by multiple, intersecting forms of subordination, and for advancing feminist and anti-racist goals.

Two decades of subsequent scholarship by Critical Race and Feminist legal scholars has helped broaden understandings of intersectionality in a variety of different areas where individuals suffer violence, harassment, discrimination, or other marginalization along multiple vectors. Nevertheless, critical race theorists and advocates continue to face challenges in building an intersectional scholarly agenda and praxis.

This year’s Women and the Law Conference will examine the past, present and future of intersectionality. Speakers will discuss ways that intersectional analysis illuminates stories of marginalization in the lives of women of color and other groups; and will set out concrete and aspirational visions of what it means to use intersectional awareness to reshape social movements and advance social justice.

Our keynote speaker and Ruth Bader Ginsburg lecturer is Kimberle Crenshaw of UCLA Law School and Columbia Law School. Other panelists include Professors Devon Carbado, Cheryl Harris, Saul Sarabia, and Russell Robinson.

The conference will be followed by a reception at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in Old Town. In light of the Lawyers Club longstanding support of this event, Lawyers Club members are invited to attend at a special discounted rate. MCLE credit is available.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg lecturer:

Professor Kimberle Crenshaw was elected Professor of the Year in 1991 and 1994, is recognized as one of the founders of Critical Race Theory, the body of legal scholarship on race that has had enormous influence within and outside the legal academy. An editor of Critical Race Theory: Key Writings That Formed the Movement (1995), she has been the author of many such writings, including Race, Reform, and Retrenchment, published in the Harvard Law Review (1988). She teaches Civil Rights, Critical Race Theory, and advanced seminars in Advanced Critical Race Theory, “Race, Law, and Representation,” “Race, Surveillance, and Punishment,” and “Intersectionality.”


Professor Devon Carbado (CRS Faculty Director 2003-2004) has been elected Professor of the Year twice, recieved the Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence, and in 2007 was bestowed with the University Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest attainment of academic and professional excellence in the UC system. He is the editor of Black Men on Race, Gender and Sexuality (1999) and his current research includes a book manuscript on employment discrimination entitled Acting White. His scholarship appears in law reviews at Yale, Cornell, and Michigan, among other places. In the CRS Curriculum, he teaches Critical Race Theory, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, and advanced seminars in Critical Race Theory, as well as teaching Constitutional Law.

Professor Cheryl Harris (CRS Faculty Director 2004-2007) is the author of the enormously influential article Whiteness as Property, published in the Harvard Law Review (1993). A nationally-recognized expert in race theory and anti-discrimination law, she teaches Critical Race Theory, Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and a seminar on Race-Conscious Remedies in the CRS curriculum, as well as teaching Consititutional Law. In 2005, she was awarded the Distinguished Professor Award by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.

Professor Saul Sarabia focuses on community-based social justice advocacy, strategizing with community residents to include their voice in law-making and public policy reform. Since graduating from UCLA Law in 1996, his efforts have ranged from documenting human rights violations in Central American countries to community organizing with poor people on welfare and the foster care system in South Los Angeles. He teaches Critical Race Theory and Latinos/as and the Law in the CRS Curriculum, while coordinating the CRS Program’s public symposia, panel presentations and collaborations with civil rights and community organizations.

Professor Russell Robinson is a former Supreme Court clerk, whose scholarship focuses on issues of diversity and discrimination in the entertainment industry and the intersections of race and sexuality. More broadly, he employs multidisciplinary approaches to deepen our understanding of race, gender and sexual orientation discrimination. In the CRS Curriculum, Professor Robinson teaches Race and Sexuality, the CRS Writing Workshop, and an Entertainment Law Seminar as well as teaching Contracts and Constitutional Law.

Thomas Jefferson’s Women and the Law Project is presenting two events in 2010.

The first was a three-day conference that WLP co-sponsored with UCLA School of Law.

Intersectionality Conference

A Joint TJSL-UCLA Event

March 11-13, 2010

Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Women and the Law Project was a principal co-sponsor of UCLA’s 2010 critical race studies conference, which brought a national set of speakers who talked about intersectionality.

Intersectionality is the idea that members of multiple marginalized classes (such as women of color) face special challenges due to the intersection of those categories. It is an important concept in many areas of law including civil rights, racial justice, women’s rights, international human rights, and LGBT rights. Intersectionality is the idea that members of multiple marginalized classes (such as women of color) face special challenges due to the intersection of those categories. It is an important concept in many areas of law including civil rights, racial justice, women’s rights, international human rights, and LGBT rights.

The intersectionality conference brought together a national group of extremely well-regarded scholars including Catherine MacKinnon, Mari Matsuda, Patricia Williams, Angela Harris, and dozens of others. Speakers discussed race issues, international law, rights of sexual minorities, and a variety of related topics. In addition to other speakers, several TJSL faculty spoke at the conference including Professors Julie Greenberg, K.J. Greene, Rebecca Lee, and Kaimi Wenger.