Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

Born:May 5, 1959 (age 64)
Education:B.A., Cornell University
J.D., Harvard Law School
LL.M., University of Wisconsin Law School

Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw is a civil rights advocate and founder of the field of critical race theory. She a leading authority in the areas of civil rights; Black feminist legal theory; and race, racism and the law.

Crenshaw was born in 1959 in Canton, Ohio. She received a bachelor's degree in government and Africana studies from Cornell University in 1981, a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1984, and an LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1985.

Crenshaw joined the faculty of the UCLA School of Law in 1986. In 1995, she was appointed as full professor at Columbia Law School. In 1996, Crenshaw co-founded and became executive director of the African American Policy Forum, which focuses on issues of gender and diversity. In 2011, she founded and became of Columbia Law School's Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies (CISPS).

In 1991, Crenshaw assisted the legal team representing Anita Hill at the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She has lectured nationally and internationally on race matters. She served as a member of the National Science Foundation's committee to research violence against women, and has facilitated workshops for civil rights activists in Brazil and in India and for constitutional court judges in South Africa. Her work on race and gender was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. In 2001, she authored the background paper on Race and Gender Discrimination for the United Nations’ World Conference on Racism and helped facilitate the inclusion of gender in the WCAR Conference Declaration.