October 17, 2013

Kimberle Crenshaw ’81, Critical Race Theorist, Returns to The Hill

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By ERICA AUGENSTEIN

Visiting Cornell, a prominent theorist on issues of race and gender equality said recent Supreme Court cases addressing affirmative action and voting rights have devastated the progress of the civil rights era at a lecture Thursday.

Prof. Kimberlé Crenshaw ’81, law, University of California, Los Angeles and Columbia Law School spoke as part of her five-day visit at Cornell, where she studied government and Africana studies when she was an undergraduate. During the course of her visit, Crenshaw will be meeting with faculty and students.

Crenshaw focused on recent major Supreme Court decisions made primarily this summer, including Shelby County v. Holder, Hollingsworth v. Perry and Fischer v. University of Texas.

“If we were to subtitle this summer, it would be called the good, the bad and the ugly,” Crenshaw said. Crenshaw acknowledged both the advancement of gay rights in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry — which overturned Proposition 8 and allowed gay couples to marry in California — and what she called several devastations for the advancement of civil rights.

Prof. Crenshaw ’81

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