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1st black woman in tenured professorship at Harvard Law to speak at APSU

4/6/2010
In 1998, Lani Guinier became the first black woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School.

Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she was a tenured professor for 10 years at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During the 1980s, she led the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and served in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Carter administration.

Guinier came to public attention when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to head the Civil Rights Division, only to have her name withdrawn without a confirmation hearing.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.”

Guinier will be the keynote speaker at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 8 in the Morgan University Center Ballroom. The event — sponsored by the President's Office, Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center and Student Affairs — is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

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.” The author of many articles and op-ed pieces on democratic theory, political representation, educational equity and issues of race and gender, Guinier also has written “The Tyranny of the Majority” about issues of political representation; “Who's Qualified?” written with Susan Sturm about moving beyond affirmative action to reconsider the ways in which colleges admit all students; and “The Miner's Canary,” written with Gerald Torres about the experience of people of color as a warning or “canary” signaling larger institutional inequities.

A graduate of Radcliffe College of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Guinier has received numerous prestigious awards. She is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees.

For more information, call the APSU Office of Student Affairs, (931) 221-7341. -- Melony Shemberger