Our Influence

& Equality

Columbia Law School has a history of fighting for justice and equality. That distinguished legacy continues through our scholarship, advocacy, and clinical work around the world.

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Katherine M. Franke

Katherine Franke is among the nation’s leading scholars writing on law, religion, and rights, drawing from feminist, queer, and critical race theory. She directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project (formerly the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project). She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Center for Palestine Studies.

Her forthcoming book, Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition (Haymarket 2019) makes the case for racial reparations today by telling the story of experiments in South Carolina and Mississippi in the 1860s where freed people were given land explicitly as reparation for enslavement and then had it taken away by the government. Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality, NYU Press, 2015, considered the costs of winning marriage for same-sex couples today and for African-Americans at the end of the Civil War. She is a former Guggenheim Fellow.

Before entering academia, she served as executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and worked for the New York City Commission on Human Rights, specializing in HIV, racial, and sexual discrimination cases.