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Harvard legal professor, civil rights expert featured March 3 in Maverick Speakers Series

News Release — 24 February 2009


Media contact: Sue Stevens, Senior Media Relations Officer, (817) 272-3317,

ARLINGTON - Lani Guinier, the first black woman appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School will discuss "Rethinking Race & Class" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the Rosebud Theater at the E.H. Hereford University Center, 300 W. First St. The lecture, part of the Maverick Speakers Series, is held in conjunction with the University's second annual Diversity Week and Women's History Month. It is free and no tickets are required.  Guinier's books will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the lecture. 

Guinier was a tenured professor for 10 years at the University of Pennsylvania Law School before joining Harvard in 1998. She previously headed the Voting Rights Project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and served in the Civil Rights Division during the Carter administration as special assistant to then-Assistant Attorney General Drew S. Days.

Guinier came to public attention in 1993, when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Her name was withdrawn without a confirmation hearing. Guinier turned that incident into a powerful personal and political memoir, "Lift Every Voice; Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice." 

While a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Guinier investigated the experience of women in law school, leading to the publication of a book "Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change." She and her co-authors found women and men came to the school with virtually identical credentials, but women were not graduating with top honors. Guinier is author of many articles and op-ed pieces on democratic theory, political representation, educational equity and issues of race and gender. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Yale Law School.

Guinier has received numerous awards, including the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, the Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women's Political Caucus and Rosa Parks Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action. She also received the Harvey Levin Teaching Award, given to her by the 1994 graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania, and the 2002 Sacks-Freund Teaching Award from Harvard Law School. She is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees from schools including Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College and the University of the District of Columbia. Visit for more information.


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