Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Harvard University law professor Lani Guinier will speak on “Rethinking Gender and Power: Building Diverse Learning Communities,” on Saturday, Mar. 2, at 8 p.m. in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Her talk, free and open to the public, is part of a series of events at Amherst commemorating the 1976 arrival of the first women students at the college, “Coeducation at 25: Celebrating Accomplishments and Envisioning the Future.”
Lani Guinier became a professor of law at Harvard Law School in 1998, the first black woman to hold that title. She had previously been a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. Guinier was nominated by President Clinton to be U.S. Assistant Attorney General in 1993. Her bid was withdrawn because of conservative attacks on her solutions to racial problems.
Guinier received a B.A. degree in 1971 from Radcliffe College and a J.D. in 1974 from Yale Law School. She was a law clerk and juvenile court referee from 1974 to 1977, special assistant to the assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1977 to 1981 and assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City from 1981 to 1988. Guinier joined the University of Pennsylvania Law School faculty in 1988. She has received many awards, including the 1995 Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women's Political Caucus, the 1995 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession and the 1994 Rosa Parks Award from the American Association of Affirmative Action.
Guinier is the author of Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice (1998), Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change (with Michelle Fine and Jane Balin; 1997) and The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy (1994). Among her articles are "The Future of Affirmative Action: Reclaiming the Innovative Ideal," (with Susan Strum) California Law Review (1996); "[E]racing Democracy: The Voting Rights Cases," Harvard Law Review (1994); "Groups, Representation, and Race-Conscious Districting: A Case of the Emperor's Clothes," Texas Law Review (1993); "The Triumph of Tokenism: The Voting Rights Act and the Theory of Black Electoral Success," Michigan Law Review (1991); and "No Two Seats: The Elusive Quest for Political Equality," Virginia Law Review(1991).