Fordham Law

Sexual harassment, women of color topic of March 26 Cannon Lecture

Tanya Hernandez in The University of Toledo, March 23, 2012

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In a lecture at The University of Toledo College of Law next week, Tanya K. Hernandez, professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, will discuss the role women of color have played in the development of sexual harassment law.

Hernandez will speak at 11:45 a.m. Monday, March 26, in the Law Center Auditorium. Her free, public lecture, “Sexual Harassment and Women of Color,” is a part of The UT College of Law’s Cannon Lecture Series.

Women of color have figured prominently in the development of sexual harassment law and policy. African-American women in particular brought most of the early precedent-setting sexual harassment cases. Yet few people are aware of the racial context of these cases. Noticeably absent from the court opinions is any discussion of race, and the legal discourse and commentary in this area also largely neglect to address race.

Hernandez will discuss this “racial silencing” and its consequences in the development and enforcement of sexual harassment law.

“I am very excited for Professor Hernandez’s visit. She is a very engaging speaker, and she will be discussing a topic that is of vital importance,” said Nicole B. Porter, UT associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law. “It is sometimes uncomfortable for our students to discuss sexual harassment and its racial implications but that’s exactly why it’s so important to bring attention to this issue.”

Hernandez is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School. Her scholarly interest is in the study of comparative race relations and anti-discrimination law, and her work in that area has appeared in such publications as the California Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.

She is a non-resident faculty fellow at the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at the Seattle University School of Law. She previously served as a law and public policy affairs fellow at Princeton University, a faculty fellow at the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University, and as an independent scholar in residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Hernandez serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Legal Education and the Latino Studies Journal published by Palgrave-Macmillian Press.

In 2011, Hernandez was named a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and in 2009 she was elected to the American Law Institute. Hispanic Business Magazine selected her as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in 2007.

The lecture is sponsored by the Joseph Cannon Memorial Lectureship Fund. The fund was established in 1980 in memory of Joseph Cannon, a Toledo area attorney, and seeks to bring lecturers to the UT College of Law who can discuss questions of law and society while emphasizing the humanistic dimensions as well as the limitations of the United States’ legal system.