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Kimberle W. Crenshaw

Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law

Kimberle W. Crenshaw

Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law

Kimberle Crenshaw is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the University of California, Los Angeles, and has written in the areas of civil rights, black feminist legal theory, and race, racism, and the law. Crenshaw is director of the Law School's Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies (CISPS), which she founded in 2011. She is also co-founder of the African American Policy Forum.

Crenshaw's work has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the National Black Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review. She is a founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory workshop and co-editor of Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Crenshaw has lectured nationally and internationally on race matters, addressing audiences throughout Europe, Africa, and South America. She has facilitated workshops for civil rights activists in Brazil and in India, and for constitutional court judges in South Africa.  

Crenshaw's work on race and gender was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. In 2001, she authored the background paper on Race and Gender Discrimination for the United Nations’ World Conference on Racism and helped facilitate the inclusion of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration. In the domestic arena, she has served as a member of the National Science Foundation's committee to research violence against women, and has assisted the legal team representing Anita Hill. 

In 1996, she co-founded the African American Policy Forum to highlight the centrality of gender in racial justice discourse. Crenshaw is also a founding member of the Women's Media Initiative and writes for Ms. Magazine, The Nation, and other media, and is a regular commentator on NPR's “The Tavis Smiley Show” and MSNBC. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, Crenshaw facilitates the Bellagio Project, an international network of scholars working in the field of social inclusion from five continents.  

She was twice named Professor of the Year at UCLA Law School and received the Lucy Terry Prince Unsung Heroine Award, presented by the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, for her path-breaking work on black women and the law. She also received the ACLU Ira Glasser Racial Justice Fellowship from 2005 to 2007. She has researched and lectured widely in Brazil as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Latin America, and was the recipient of the 2008 to 2009 Alphonse Fletcher Fellowship. She was awarded an in-residence fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science at Stanford University in 2008 to 2009.

  • LL.M., University of Wisconsin, 1985
  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1984
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1981
Areas of Expertise
  • Constitutional law
  • Civil rights
  • Critical race theory
  • Intersectionality
  • Feminism and law
C. Intersectionalities Workshop
Civil Rights