Photo: Dale Robbins

Michelle Alexander

Civil Rights Advocate

Michelle Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. She is Associate Professor of Law with a joint appointment with Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

Alexander has litigated civil rights cases at the ACLU of Northern California and in private practice. As director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Project, Alexander launched a major initiative against racial profiling in California known as the “DWB Campaign,” which included three major class actions: Rodriguez v. California Highway Patrol (challenging the California Highway Patrol’s discriminatory drug interdiction program), Casteneda v. UC Regents (challenging UC Berkeley’s racially discriminatory admissions process) and Williams v. State of California (challenging California’s failure to provide basic minimum necessities for an adequate education to poor and minority students).

Professor Alexander graduated from Stanford Law School, where she subsequently taught and directed the Civil Rights Clinic. From 1993 to 1994, Alexander served as a clerk for Justice Harry A. Blackmun, United States Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals of the DC Circuit.