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Elizabeth Emens

Elizabeth Emens teaches and researches in the areas of disability law, family law, antidiscrimination law, and law and sexuality. A faculty fellow of the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University, which supports collaborative projects that address inequality to foster ethical and progressive social change, Emens has lectured and written on topics ranging from marriage and monogamy to asexuality and polyamory. In a 2014 Stanford Law Review article, she explored the ways law privileges sexuality and how asexuality might be included in federal, state, and local antidiscrimination laws. In The Georgetown Law Journal in 2015, she examined the type of administrative work it takes to run a household and the disproportionate impact such work has on women. At Columbia Law School, Emens leads workshops on secular mindfulness and meditation. She teaches a seminar called Law, Justice, and Reflective Practice that includes units on restorative justice and alternatives to incarceration.

When our emotions like fear and anger are activated, we are more likely to categorize people and respond in hostile rather than understanding ways. Some promising new research suggests that mindfulness meditation can help reduce bias on the basis of race and disability.