Cheryl Harris

2019-2020 LAPA Fellow

Home Institution, UCLA School of Law

LAPA Fellow, 2019-2020

LAPA Fellow

 349 Wallace Hall




Professor Harris is one of the founding and foundational scholars of Critical Race Studies having written, among her many articles, Whiteness as Property, published in the Harvard Law Review. She has lectured widely on race, inequality and anti-discrimination law, in the US and internationally.  Harris was also part of a multi-year collaborative project between progressive US lawyers and South African lawyers, which played a critical role in the development of South Africa’s first democratic constitution.  More recently, she has worked in collaboration with scholars in Australia on issues of race and indigeneity and has been a visiting scholar at RMIT University in Melbourne.   She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary work and served as Interim Chair of the Department of African-American Studies at UCLA from its creation in 2014 to 2016. Professor Harris received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her law degree from Northwestern School of Law.  She practiced with a leading criminal defense firm in Chicago, and later served as a senior legal advisor in the City Attorney’s office during the reform administration of Mayor Harold Washington.  Her current research project investigates the historic and current relationship among race, debt, and property and how the creation and management of debt is part of broader mechanisms of racialized dispossession.