Critical Race Studies Program

Summer 2017

Three Critical Race Studies Faculty Among Most Cited Legal Scholars

Three professors in the UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies program are among the most cited legal scholars in their fields over the past five years, according to Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports. Leiter drew data for the rankings from the 2015 Sisk Study, which examined overall scholarly impact among law faculties as measured by citations from 2010-2014. Overall, UCLA Law has 13 faculty members – 24% of all ladder faculty – on the list, eighth-highest among all U.S. law schools. Critical Race Studies faculty who are ranked include:
Devon Carbado, UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor of BruinX; Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law

Kimberlé Crenshaw, Distinguished Professor of Law

Jerry Kang, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo Chair in Korean American Studies and Law

Symposium '17: ‘From Colorblindness to White Nationalism?’


UCLA School of Law’s Ninth Annual Critical Race Studies Symposium, “From Color Blindness to White Nationalism: Emerging Racial Formations in the Trump Era,” welcomed more than 300 students, professors, lawyers, and activists from California and states beyond. Panels focused on the “Racialization of Immigrants,” “Racialized State Violence,” and “Racial Neoliberalism and White Supremacy.” Speakers included more than a dozen distinguished thought leaders in the field, including UCLA Law professors Tendayi Achiume, Asli Bâli, Joseph Berra, Cheryl Harris, Sherod Thaxton, and Noah Zatz, as well as Critical Race Studies Program director Jasleen Kohli. A panel of young activists addressed “Race and Resistance: Social Movements in the Post-Trump Era." Videos of symposium sessions are available for viewing. Videos of past CRS symposia and events are also available.

Bâli to Lead UCLA Law Promise Institute for Human Rights


Professor Aslı Bâli, an expert in human rights law and the comparative constitutional law of the Middle East, was named director of the new Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA Law. Established in April 2017 with a $20 million gift spearheaded by Dr. Eric Esrailian, producer of "The Promise," the institute will advance the law school's already-extensive work in the field of human rights, expanding course offerings in human rights studies, enhancing hands-on programs in human rights law and policy, publish research and policy assessments, supporting students through fellowships and scholarships, and hosting symposia and related events. Institute leaders are currently conducting a search for an executive director.

UCLA Law Students Advocate for Female Prisoners

In 2016-17, students in UCLA Law's International Human Rights Clinic partnered with the California Institute for Women Think Tank to develop a memorandum addressing the human rights of women re-entering society after being incarcerated. The memorandum was motivated by a 2003 City of Los Angeles ordinance that implements locally the protections of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The barriers facing formerly incarcerated women and the unjust and inhumane collateral consequences of life after incarceration remain of urgent concern to human rights advocates. Over the course of the Fall 2016 semester IHRC students traveled twice weekly to the California Institute for Women to work with advocates and incarcerated women to develop a framework for local implementation of CEDAW, with a focus on the rights to employment and housing for reentering women. Students also conducted a needs-and-resource assessment in the areas of employment and housing for reentering women.

Riley Stands with Sioux at Standing Rock


Professor Angela Riley, who for over a decade has worked on issues related to indigenous peoples’ rights to land and cultural resources, dedicated her time in the fall of 2016 bringing supplies and support to members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Members and their allies gathered in camps along the Missouri River to protest the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline, which remains the subject of litigation, has been  built within a half mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, crossing treaty-guaranteed lands, under the tribe’s main source of drinking water, and through sacred sites. Lawyers for the tribe argue that oil spills related to the pipeline “would constitute an existential threat to the tribe’s culture and way of life.” Riley traveled to Standing Rock with University of Colorado Law Professor Kristen Carpenter.

Law Review Symposium: Frontiers in Federal Indian Law


UCLA Law Review focused on cutting-edge issues in federal Indian law and honored the career of Carole E. Goldberg, Jonathon D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law, at its 2016 symposium. The symposium explored the body of law governing the relationship between the federal government and the nearly 600 Indian nations within the United States, including implications for states’ rights, tribal law and self-determination. The event used Goldberg’s extensive work in this field as a springboard. Goldberg joined the UCLA School of Law faculty in 1972 and leads the Tribal Legal Development Clinic and the Tribal Appellate Court Clinic, which offer legal services to Indian tribes and Indian judicial systems. In 2007 she was appointed a Justice of the Hualapai Court of Appeals in Arizona. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her to the Indian Law and Order Commission, established to investigate and recommend ways to improve Indian country criminal justice.

Carbado Named Associate Vice Chancellor of Bruin X


In August 2016 Devon W. Carbado, the Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law, was appointed the inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor of BruinX, a multidisciplinary unit within UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. BruinX oversees research, development and intervention projects for the office. In this position, Carbado will provide scholarly engagement, strategic planning and project management in order to effectively translate findings into policy change and action. Carbado writes and teaches in the areas of employment discrimination, criminal procedure, constitutional law and identity.

Crenshaw Honored by Fellows of American Bar Foundation

Distinguished Professor of Law Kimberlé Crenshaw was honored with the 2016 Outstanding Scholar Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. A leading authority on civil rights, black feminist legal theory, race, racism and the law, Crenshaw is the first woman of color to receive the honor, which recognizes exceptional scholarship in the law or in government. Crenshaw is a co-founder and the executive director of the African American Policy Forum, which celebrated its 20th year in 2017. In May 2017 Crenshaw co-hosted Her Dream Deferred, a three-day series on the status of black women, held at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. 

Motomura Named a Guggenheim Fellow

Hiroshi Motomura, one of the nation's leading experts on immigration law and policy, has been named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017. The honor, bestowed by the Guggenheim Foundation since 1925, recognizes leaders in educational, artistic and scientific endeavors who improve international understanding through their work. In announcing the award, the foundation stated Motomura is "a leading scholar of immigration and citizenship law, with influence across a range of academic disciplines and in federal, state, and local policymaking." While he is a Guggenheim Fellow, Motomura will work on a new book examining immigration policy matters. Topics will include whether immigrants' rights are best understood as a matter of civil rights or human rights; how mass migrations due to armed conflict, breakdowns in civil society, and environmental degradation impact the immigration conversation; the impact of economic inequality on immigration policy; and the implications of policies that offer immigrants no path to citizenship.

Introducing New Fellow K-Sue Park

K-Sue Park joins the Critical Race Studies Program in 2017-18 as a teaching fellow. Park received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. She also holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.Phil from the University of Cambridge. After law school, she spent two years practicing foreclosure and eviction defense on the U.S.-Mexico border as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. At UCLA, her research will focus on the history of private property creation and the real estate market in the U.S., specifically on the relationship between dispossession, displacement and development.

Faculty Research


Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Professor of Law

Professor Abou El Fadl was named one of the World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims for 2017 by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman, Jordan. He offered keynote addresses at conferences in Qatar, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.


  • “Egypt’s Secularized Intelligentsia and the Guardians of Truth,” in Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism, (Oneworld, 2016).
  • “The Roots of Persuasion and the Future of Shari’ah,” in Locating the Shari’ah conference volume, (Palgrave, 2016).
  • “Shari’ah and Human Rights,” in Routledge Handbook on Human Rights and the Middle East, Anthony Tirado Chase, ed. (Routledge, 2016).
  • Editor, Routledge Handbook on Islamic Law (Routledge, forthcoming 2017).
  • “The Epistemology of Truth in Modern Islam,” in Toward New Democratic Imaginaries - Istanbul Seminars on Islam, Culture and Politics, Seyla Benhabib and Volker Kaul, eds. (Springer, 2016).



Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Achiume received the 2016-17 Hellman Fellowship Award from the Hellman Fellows Fund, which supports the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for distinction in their fields. She served as an invited speaker, panelist or presenter at numerous events, including the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law and the Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop’s African Regional Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa.


  • “The African Union Migration and Regional Integration Framework,” with Loren B. Landau, ACCORD Policy and Practice Brief 36 (2016).



Professor of Law

Professor Bâli was named director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies. She offered numerous presentations at university symposia, conferences and other settings on topics including the Iran nuclear deal, countering violent extremism, human rights and revolution in Turkey, the Syrian refugee crisis, the Arab Uprising and more.


  • “Shifting into Reverse: Turkish Constitutionalism Under the AKP,” Theory & Event, Vol. 19, Issue 1 (January 2016).
  • “Turkish Constitutionalism and Models for Arab Reforms,” Constitutionalism, Human Rights and Islam after the Arab Spring, Rainer Grote & Tilmann Roeder, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • “The Wrong Kind of Intervention in Syria,” (with Aziz Rana) Land of Blue Helmets: The United Nations and the Arab World, Karim Makdisi and Vijay Prashad, eds. (University of California Press, 2016).
  • “Constitutional Design without Constitutional Moments,” forthcoming in 49 Cornell International Law Journal, Issue 2, Vol. 1 (2016).
  • “Sykes-Picot and Artificial States,” 110 American Journal of International Law Unbound 115 (2016)
  • Constitution Writing, Religion and Democracy, co-editor (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2017).



Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law

Professor Carbado was named Associate Vice Chancellor of BruinX, a program in the UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He also was recognized with the Clyde Ferguson Award from the American Association of Law Schools. He delivered the talk “What Causes Police Violence” at universities and in other settings, and delivered public lectures and related talks on “managing diversity, affirmative action and racial profiling."


  • “Blue-on-Black Violence, A Provisional Model of Some of the Causes,” 104 Georgetown Law Review 1479 (2016)
  • “What Exposes African Americans to Police Violence?” 51 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review  159 (2016)
  • “The Lose-Lose Position of African Americans in the Affirmative Action Debate,” with Kay M. Turetsky, Discourse, the online version of UCLA Law Review (2016)
  • “From Stopping Black People to Killing Black People,” California Law Review (forthcoming 2017)



Professor of Law

In January 2017 Professor Laura Gómez was elected to the American Law Institute. In May 2016 she was named interim dean for the UCLA College of Letters and Science Division of Social Sciences, and served in that role for a year. She was also named Richard T. Castro Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver for October 2016. Gómez’s book, Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race, was the subject of an MSU public lecture. The book, which will be republished in a 10th anniversary edition in 2017 by New York University Press, traces the origins of Mexican Americans as a racial group in the United States, paying particular attention to shifting meanings of race and law in the 19th century. She served as a keynote speaker and as a panelist at several events, addressing issues of race and the law.


  • “Connecting Critical Race Theory with Second Generation Legal Consciousness Work” review of Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race through the Eyes of the Blind, Law and Social Inquiry, Vol. 41, Issue 4, 1069 (2016).



Rosalind and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Faculty Co-Director, Critical Race Studies Program

Professor Harris served as the first chair of the UCLA Department of African American Studies, which grew from interdepartmental program to recognition as a department in 2014. She delivered numerous presentations at universities and in other settings. Her talk, “The Afterlife of Slavery: Race, Property and Debt,” was the keynote at symposia in the United States, Europe and Australia. Harris also convened a major workshop on Derrick Bell’s seminal textbook, Race, Racism and American Law, as a prelude to its forthcoming revision, the first in eight years.


  • ”Fisher’s Foibles: From Race and Class to Class not Race,” UCLA Discourse (forthcoming 2017)



Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law

Professor Motomura was named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017, received the National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles Chapter Award in June 2016 and was named the Higgins Distinguished Visitor, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Ore., in March 2016. He was appointed as vice chair of the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center. His numerous presentations and speaking engagements included talks based on his 2014 book, Immigration Outside the Law and related studies of immigration at universities, faculty colloquia, historical societies and legal associations.


  • Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy, with T. Alexander Aleinikoff, David A. Martin, Maryellen Fullerton, & Juliet Stumpf, West ( 8th ed., 2016)
  • “The President’s Dilemma: Executive Authority, Enforcement, and the Rule of Law in Immigration Law,” 55 Washburn Law Journal 1-30 (2015), reprinted in 21 Bender’s Immigration Bulletin (April 15, 2016).



Lecturer in Law

Jyoti Nanda was named a Binder Clinical Teaching Fellow for 2016-2018. Her recent presentations and speaking engagements included “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: A Research Agenda for the Next Decade,” before the White House Council on Women & Girls in November 2015.



Professor of Law

Professor Riley was re-elected as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in June 2016. She was honored as one of “Women Inspiring Change” in recognition of International Women’s Day at an event hosted by Harvard Law School and the International Development Society. She has given several lectures on tribal law and indigenous rights, including her presentation “Crime and Governance in Indian Country.”


  • “Crime and Governance in Indian Country,” UCLA Law Review (2016).
  • “Owning Red: A Theory of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation,” with K. Carpenter, 94 Texas Law Review 859 (2016).
  • “Native Nations and the Constitution: An Inquiry into “Extra-Constitutionality,” Harvard Law Review Forum (forthcoming 2017)



Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Thaxton received the 2016-17 Hellman Fellowship Award from the Hellman Fellows Fund, which supports the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for distinction in their fields. He has lectured and made presentations on the death penalty and other topics at Duke University, Stanford University and elsewhere. 


  • “Disciplining Death: Assessing and Ameliorating Arbitrariness in Capital Charging,” 49 Arizona State Law Journal (forthcoming 2017)
  • “Un-Gregg-ulated: Capital Charging and The Missing Mandate in Gregg v. Georgia,” 11 Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy 145 (2016)
  • “Race, Place, and Capital Charging in Georgia,” 67 Mercer Law Review 529 (2016)



Professor of Law
Critical Race Studies Faculty Co-director
Associate Director, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor & Employment

Noah Zatz received a prestigious Open Society Fellowship for 2017-18 to advance his “Get To Work or Go To Jail” project on the impact of incarceration on job opportunities and to build on collaborations with the UCLA Labor Center and A New Way of Life Reentry Project. The initial research report was cited by the Prison Policy Institute as among the most notable criminal justice research of 2016. Zatz also addressed the California Fair Employment & Housing Council about using disparate impact liability to combat employers’ exclusion of people with prior convictions. The council subsequently proposed new regulations in this area.


  • “Does Work Law Have a Future If the Labor Market Does Not?” 91 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1081 (2016). [37th Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture]
  • “A New Peonage? Pay, Work, or Go To Jail in Contemporary Child Support Enforcement and Beyond,” 39 Seattle University Law Review 927 (2016)

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