Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar.In recent years, she has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinics.In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of The New Jim Crow, and that same year she accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.The New Jim Crow received rave reviews, became a New York Times bestseller, and has been featured on national radio and television media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, DemocracyNow!, C-Span Washington Journal, among others.The book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best non-fiction.
Prior to entering academia, Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she coordinated the Project’s media advocacy, grassroots organizing, coalition-building, and litigation. The Project’s priority areas were educational equity and criminal justice reform, and it was during those years that she launcheda major campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement, known as the “DWB Campaign” or “Driving While Black or Brown Campaign.”
In addition to her non-profit advocacy experience, Alexander has worked as a litigator at private law firms, including at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, in Oakland, California, where she specialized in plaintiff-side class action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination.
Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court, and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.She currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation and devotes her time to writing books and articles, supporting advocacy organizations committed to building racial justice movements, and, most importantly, raising her three children -- the most challenging and rewarding job of all.