Legal Scholar to Discuss Racial Justice and Incarceration

Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander, a noted civil rights litigator and legal scholar, will give a talk titled “The New Jim Crow” on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College. The talk is open to the public free of charge.

Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010). The book, a New York Times best-seller, has been featured by national radio and television media outlets including NPR, Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, and C-Span Washington Journal.

“The fate of millions of people—indeed the future of the black community itself—may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society,” states Alexander in The New Jim Crow.

 Alexander currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. She was previously an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed civil rights clinics.

For several years, Alexander served as the director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she helped to lead a national campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement. While an associate at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, she specialized in plaintiff-side class-action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination. 

Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  

Organized by Skidmore’s Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding, the event is co-sponsored by the Student Government Association Speakers Bureau; Office of Student Diversity Programs; Office of Intercultural Studies; Black Faculty and Staff Group; Student Academic Services; and Ujima, the college’s African/Caribbean cultural awareness club.

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