Hope College is part of a coalition of area colleges sponsoring the lecture "Rethinking Race and Gender" by Lani Guinier on Monday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at the St. Cecilia Music Society, located at 24 Ransom St., NE, in downtown Grand Rapids.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Guinier became a household name in 1993, when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to lead the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice and then saw the nomination withdrawn in the midst of a political firestorm that saw her painted with labels such as the "quota queen." Now a professor at Harvard Law School, she will be speaking in the second lecture of a series from the West Michigan Women's Studies Council, a multi-college organization that includes Hope.
Since her unchosen role in the political power struggle of 1993, Guinier has continued to work closely with issues related to race and gender. In 1998 she wrote "Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice," a look at where civil rights have been and where they are going. The book also reflects on her experiences in 1993.
Guinier has Michigan connections, having clerked for the judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan from 1974 to 1976 and serving as the juvenile court referee in Wayne County from 1976 to 1977. From there she became an assistant in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1977 to 1981 and then was assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York City from 1981 to 1988.
The West Michigan Women's Studies Council was formed in late 2001 to inform women of gender issues and collaborate with other programs to enhance the lives of women in West Michigan. The council consists of representatives from six local colleges and universities, including Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport College, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University and Hope. The council sponsored a talk by comedian and actress Margaret Cho earlier this year.