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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Patricia J. Williams

Patricia J. Williams publishes widely in the areas of race, gender, and law. She began her legal career as a consumer advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty and as a deputy city attorney for the City of Los Angeles.

Her writings illuminate some of the United States’ most complex societal problems and challenge ideas about cultural constructs of race and gender. She is the author of the seminal book The Alchemy of Race and Rights, an autobiographical work that integrates humanities, genealogy, memoir, black feminist history, and New England history to illuminate a story of generations of black Boston life from the antebellum period to the present. The book was named one of the twenty-five best books by the Voice Literary Supplement when it was published; Ms. Magazine called it one of the “feminist classics” that “literally changed women’s lives.” A former MacArthur Fellow, Williams is a contributing editor and columnist for The Nation.

The planet is aflame with the killing of messengers. We can barely keep score of the assaults on memory: from Mosul to Moscow to Dresden to Dhaka, the destruction proceeds apace—of ancient monuments, scientific archives and schools, of journalists as well as journalism itself.