2013 Our Differences, Our Strength
4th Annual Conference, April 12, 2013
Keynote: Lani Guinier
In 1998, Lani Guinier became the first African American woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she was a tenured professor for ten years at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During the 1980s, she was head of the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and served in the Civil Rights Division during the Carter administration as special assistant to then-Assistant Attorney General Drew S. Days. Guinier came to public attention when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, only to have her name withdrawn without a confirmation hearing.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. Dean of Yale Law School Anthony Kronman calls Lift Every Voice a “moving personal testimony, a story of dignity and principle and hope, from which every reader can take heart.”
This year’s theme “Our Differences, Our Strength” is intended to explore how diversity can be a source of strength in our academic community. Differences and similarities exist within the multiple, different identities of the many groups within our university, and we intend to explore where they intersect and overlap. We will encourage conference attendees to think of ways to: foster innovation through diversity; enhance inclusion practices; and transform points of controversy into positive interactions.