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Kimberle W. Crenshaw

  • Isidor and Sevilla Sulzbacher Professor of Law
  • Full-time faculty

LL.M., University of Wisconsin, 1985
J.D., Harvard Law School, 1984
B.A., Cornell University, 1981

Fields of study
  • Family, gender and sexuality
  • Social justice and human rights
areas of expertise

Constitutional law
Civil rights
Critical Race Theory
Feminism and Law

Kimberlé W. Crenshaw is a seminal scholar and author on civil rights, critical racial theory, feminist black and racial legal theory, racism and law. In addition to her position at Columbia Law School, she is Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Crenshaw's work was fundamental to critical racial theory and intersectionality, a term she coined to describe the double bond of concurrent racial and gender prejudice. Her studies, writing, and activism have identified key issues in perpetuating inequality, including the school-to-prison pipeline for African American children and the criminalization of teenage black girls' behavior. Crenshaw was co-author (with Andrea Ritchie) through the Columbia Law School's African American Policy Forum (AAPF), which she co-founded Say her name: Resistance to Police Brutality Against Black Women Black , which documented the murder of black women and girls by the police and made them aware of it. Crenshaw and AAPF then launched the #SayHerName campaign to raise awareness of police violence against black women and girls.

Crenshaw is a sought-after speaker and leads workshops and trainings. She is also the co-author of Black Girls Matter: suppressed, exaggerated and underprotected . Your writing is in the. published Harvard Law Review , the National Black Law Journal Law , the Stanford Law Review , and the Review of Southern California Law . She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory workshop and co-editor of Critical Racial Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. In 1981, she assisted Anita Hill's legal team while giving evidence at the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearing.

Crenshaw writes regularly for The new republic The nation, and MS . and provides commentary for media such as MSNBC and NPR and hosts the Podcastpod Intersectionality counts! In addition to frequent lectures, training courses, and town halls, Crenshaw has led workshops for human rights defenders in Brazil and India and for constitutional judges in South Africa. She is a member of the Law and Justice Committee of the National Academies of Science.

Crenshaw's pioneering work on intersectionality was influential in drafting the equality clause in the South African constitution. She prepared the background paper on Racial and Gender Discrimination for the United Nations World Conference on Racism in 2001, was rapporteur for the Conference's Expert Group on Gender and Racial Discrimination, and coordinated efforts by NGOs to promote gender inclusion in the WCAR Declaration Conference.

honors and awards

Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize


Lucy Terry Prince Unsung Heroine Award

Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Latin America

Alphonse Fletcher Fellowship


Aufenthaltsstipendium am Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science der Stanford University


ACLU Ira Glasser Scholarship for Racial Justice


Professor of the Year at UCLA Law School

1991, 1994

Recommended offer

Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power is coming from and colliding, where it meshes and intersects. It's not just that there's a racial problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there.

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