1997 Fordham Law Review article: Elizabeth Warren was Harvard’s ‘first woman of color’

Doug Powers by Doug Powers on May 16th, 2012

It’s been a confusing week. First we found out that Barack Obama is the first gay president. Next came the news that Sarah Palin somehow managed to hijack Chris Matthews’ cerebral cortex in order to make an ass out of him during his appearance on Jeopardy. And next came word that Elizabeth Warren was once described this way:

…a 1997 Fordham Law Review piece described her as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color,” based, according to the notes at the bottom of the story, on a “telephone interview with Michael Chmura, News Director, Harvard Law (Aug. 6, 1996).”

The mention was in the middle of a lengthy and heavily-annotated Fordham piece on diversity and affirmative action and women. The title of the piece, by Laura Padilla, was “Intersectionality and positionality: Situating women of color in the affirmative action dialogue.”

“There are few women of color who hold important positions in the academy, Fortune 500 companies, or other prominent fields or industries,” the piece says. “This is not inconsequential. Diversifying these arenas, in part by adding qualified women of color to their ranks, remains important for many reasons. For one, there are scant women of color as role models. In my three years at Stanford Law School, there were no professors who were women of color. Harvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995.”

Reminder for any skeptics: Very light pink is a color.

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